San Diego County Bar Foundation Awards $110,000 to Recipients of Indigent Criminal Defense Fund

Three Local Nonprofits Receive Grants to Support Legal Assistance Programs

SAN DIEGO (Feb. 22, 2017) – The San Diego County Bar Foundation awarded $110,000 from its 2016 Indigent Criminal Defense Fund to three San Diego nonprofits that offer legal defense programs for individuals and families. The charitable arm of the San Diego County Bar Association, the Bar Foundation created its Indigent Criminal Defense Fund to further and support indigent criminal defense programs, projects and activities in San Diego County.

The Bar Foundation, which recently also awarded $100,000 in funding to 12 local nonprofits as part of its annual grant cycle, invests in legal assistance and advocacy for people and communities in the region impacted by poverty, abuse and discrimination.

The 2016 Indigent Criminal Defense Funds were awarded to:

  • California Veterans Legal Task Force – $30,000 to help veterans secure criminal defense assistance for charges they are facing, with the hope that they will receive mental health treatment rather than custody. The program also provides legal students with hands-on experience providing legal assessments, experience with mental health issues and knowledge about veterans’ legal needs.
  • St. Vincent de Paul Village – $30,000 to fully fund the Homeless Court Program, a special San Diego Superior Court session for homeless defendants to resolve outstanding misdemeanor offenses and warrants. The funds will support 100 percent of the program’s case management, operation expenses and the salary of a Homeless Court Representative.
  • Think Dignity – $50,000 to support “The Homeless Youth Legal Advocacy Project,” which works with homeless youths who have aged out of foster care to reduce sentences, and expunge and seal their juvenile records so the young person can seek employment with a clean record.

“It’s a well-known fact that San Diego has one of the largest homeless populations and highest concentration of homeless vets in the country,” said Bar Foundation President Micaela Banach. “Through our Indigent Criminal Defense Fund, we are able to help people who are in desperate need of legal assistance and have nowhere else to turn.”

The Indigent Criminal Defense Fund is made possible by a grant from the San Diego County Bar Association through extra funds from its Private Conflict Counsel program.

For more information about the San Diego County Bar Foundation, or to make a donation, click here.

About San Diego County Bar Foundation
The San Diego County Bar Foundation (SDCBF) is the charitable arm of the San Diego County Bar Association (SDCBA). Through this partnership with the San Diego County legal community, SDCBF aims to benefit underprivileged communities in the region, by providing them with access to support, funding and public service programs with legal services. The foundation’s beneficiaries include over 40 legal aid and public interest organizations.