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State Legal Services

State Legal Services2018-11-15T16:35:00+00:00

Metropolitan Justice Center of Southeast Michigan – State Defender Office

The State Defender Office within Metropolitan Justice Center of Southeast Michigan was established by Senator Carl Levin in response to the 1967 riots. Everyone deserves fair treatment within the justice system, and our state defenders are dedicated to ensuring that persons charged with felonies receive just that.

Currently, the State Defender Office is assigned 25 percent of all indigent criminal cases in Wayne County Circuit Court. Led by Chief Defender Donald Johnson, 16 attorneys and three clerical staff, our office proudly closes nearly 5,000 cases each year.

Our state defenders are licensed legal professionals assigned to provide quality legal representation to individuals charged with a crime and understand the associated legal fields in question. What’s more, they represent the accused individual at no cost.

Our state defenders understand the challenges their clients face. They work with the courts to seek alternate sentencing programs, which can save the community dollars. For instance, alternatives may include the rehabilitation of the client or assistance with job skills. The end goal is always the same, however: to help clients become contributing members of society.

We are very proud that a significant number of judges serving the district, state and federal levels began their careers with the State Defender Office.

State Defender Office

613 Abbott Street
Detroit, MI  48226

Funded By

The Metropolitan Justice Center of Southeast Michigan is funded by the Administrative Offices of the U. S. Courts, Wayne County and charitable donations.