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Statements & Press Releases


June 21, 2022: 

Heather N. Pinckney Named Director of DC Public Defender Service

The Board of Trustees of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia is pleased to announce the appointment of Heather N. Pinckney as the next Director of PDS. Ms. Pinckney succeeds outgoing director, Avis E. Buchanan, who announced her retirement late last year.


February 4, 2022:

PDS Files Suit Against the Bureau of Prisons

PDS files a lawsuit against the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) for the unfair treatment of people serving D.C. Superior Court sentences in the BOP. Please contact Jon Anderson, Chief of the Special Litigation Division at PDS for any further inquiry.


November 2, 2021: 

PDS Calls for the Immediate Release of all Persons Detained at the D.C. Jail


July 14, 2021: 

PDS Virtual Safe Surrender Press Release


April 27, 2021:

Statement by Director Avis E. Buchanan on the Derek Chauvin Verdict 

The guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin murder trial is a long overdue step towards police accountability in this country. Despite the verdict, the recent police killings of children and young people are tragic reminders that racist and violent policing remains a deadly scourge in police departments across this country, including the District’s Metropolitan Police Department. The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia remembers the Floyd family and their loss as we stand in solidarity with everyone continuing the fight for justice and meaningful police reform.


March 18, 2021: 

Press Release D.C. Reentry Navigator

On the 58th anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright, the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (PDS) is pleased to announce its publication of The D.C. Reentry Navigator, a 900-page, 16-chapter book that is a comprehensive compilation of expert knowledge and reentry resources for people arrested, charged, tried, and/or convicted under District of Columbia law. For more than 60 years, PDS has provided high quality representation to indigent people facing a loss of liberty in the District’s criminal, juvenile, and mental health systems. PDS created The D.C. Reentry Navigator as a resource for persons working to regain their lives following arrest, conviction, and/or incarceration.