Justice Partners


The State Appellate Defender Office has partnered with a wide variety of organizations on projects promoting criminal justice. They include:


The Michigan Indigent Defense Commission
In October 2011, Governor Snyder issued Executive Order 2011-12, establishing the initial Indigent Defense Advisory Commission, which was responsible for recommending improvements to the state’s legal system. This followed years of work by the Michigan Campaign for Justice (CFJ), a group that advocated for broad improvements to Michigan's indigent defense system. Recommendations from the Advisory Commission served as the basis for legislation to address this need and called for the 15-member Indigent Defense Commission that the governor signed into law in July 2013, launching the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission. The Michigan Indigent Defense Commission Act can be found at MCL 780.981 - 780.1003.  For historic information about the efforts to enact this legislation, please see the archived content on the CFJ's website, which is hosted by SADO.


The Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency
Since its establishment in 1956, the Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency (MCCD) has been a trailblazer in addressing the causes of crime. MCCD was founded by concerned citizen leaders from throughout our state as a vehicle to assure that the laws and policies aimed at controlling crime were fair, effective and affordable. Today, it is still the only statewide citizen’s organization devoted exclusively to providing community safety. MCCD services remain outcome focused and dedicated to advancing research-based, prevention-focused systems and programs. The Council has an additional division: the Public Policy and Technical Assistance Division that includes research and data analysis, public education, community planning and development, professional training and advocacy. This division has grown rapidly and provides an array of services to communities throughout our state. MCCD continues to advance investment in research based programs, establishment of fair and effectives policies, utilization of balanced and restorative justice principles, community prevention planning and services that break the family cycle of crime.


The Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan (CDAM)
CDAM is a statewide membership organization whose mission is: To Promote Expertise in the area of criminal law, constitutional law and procedure and to improve trial and appellate advocacy; and to improve the quality of legal representation for persons brought into the criminal and quasi-criminal justice system. To Educate the bench, bar and public of the need for quality and integrity in defense services and representation; and to promote enlightened thought concerning alternatives to the present criminal justice system. To Guard against erosion of the rights and privileges guaranteed by the United States and Michigan Constitutions and laws.

CDAM sponsors training conferences for criminal defense attorneys, advocates on legislative and court rule matters, files amicus curiae briefs on behalf of criminal defendants, and represents criminal defense interests before state and local bodies.


Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES)
MCOLES administers the Michigan justice training fund, awarding grants to agencies providing training to eligible trainees. The Commission's responsibilities under Public Act 302 of 1982 are to: (a) annually distribute 60% of the justice training fund to eligible entities under the law enforcement distribution, and (b) annually distribute, through a competitive grant process, the balance of the fund after administrative costs have been deducted. The criminal defense community is served by a commission member named by the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan (CDAM).

SADO has received and administered dozens of training grants awarded by MCOLES for the purpose of training assigned criminal defense counsel in Michigan. In addition to training on such topics as technology, legal research, and sentencing, SADO has published the “Defender Books,” comprehensive manuals covering motions, trials, pleas, sentencing, appeals, and habeas corpus practice. SADO also partners on training event content, seminars, and conferences offered by CDAM, the Criminal Advocacy Program of Wayne Circuit Court, and the Michigan Appellate Assigned Counsel System.