"From the very beginning, our state and national constitution and laws have laid great emphasis on procedural and substantive safeguards designed to assure fair trials before impartial tribunals in which every defendant stands equal before the law. This noble ideal cannot be realized if the poor man charged with crime has to face his accusers without a lawyer to assist him." --Gideon v. Wainwright 372 U.S. 335, 344 (1963) Gideon seeks to guarantee a fair trial for every person, regardless of their economic means. Everyday, through our work, we strive to ensure that promise is upheld in Montgomery, Alabama. HISTORY In 2013, the Indigent Defense Advisory Board of the 15th Judicial Circuit moved for the creation of a public defender system for Montgomery County. On April 1, 2014 the Board appointed Aylia McKee to establish and lead the seventh public defender office in Alabama. Under her leadership, the Office of the Public Defender for Montgomery County opened on January 20, 2015. Our office embraces a client-centered, holistic representation model that combines high quality criminal defense, supplemented by investigative and social services, to provide the highest quality representation. Our Law Office respects a client's decision whether to exercise their rights through the due process of law, after having been fully informed about their legal options and consequences. And we encourage opportunities for positive change through connections with social services and other community agencies to meet legal and social support needs. Our staff are uniquely positioned to "partner" with our clients in ways that are conducive toward producing meaningful, positive change in their lives. More so than any other agency or individual in the criminal justice system, clients should look to staff of this Office as their champions - as people they can trust who will fight for them. We recognize that poverty, in addition to social, environmental, and personal factors, all play significant roles in an individual's involvement in the criminal justice system. At our Law Office, we actively ask our clients about the social factors in their life - such as a lack of housing, education or employment, as well as personal factors such as alcohol and/or substance abuse and mental illness -- that may have contributed to the challenges they face. Using this information, we zealously work together to develop an individualized approach for each client and their case, with the hope that their desired outcome will position them for a better future. By emphasizing a client-centered, holistic approach that offers high quality, competent, zealous legal representation coupled with social services and connections to other community agencies, this office strives to enable individuals to move toward maximum self-sufficiency and contribute to their communities.