Memphis Man Spends Two Years in Jail for a Crime He Didn’t Commit

False identification in a photo lineup to blame The District Attorney General of Multnomah County, Oregon made a bold statement recently. Last October, he created a unit designed to dig through the cases his office had already won a conviction. Why? To make sure his office’s convictions were just and, perhaps more importantly, to develop a protocol that would […]

Veronica Coleman-Davis on  Open Society Institute panel  on minorities and sentencing

Former U.S. Attorney Brings Career Full Circle with Shelby County Public Defender’s Office

Veronica Coleman-Davis retires from Juvenile Defender Unit It was 1975 when she first came to the Shelby County Public Defender’s Office, Veronica Coleman-Davis had just graduated from the Memphis State University School of Law (now the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law). After a short stint as a part-time attorney, Coleman-Davis was hired […]

Kena Vassar (right) was named the MSW Field Instructor of the Year by the University of Memphis Department of Social Work. Kena was nominated by UofM MSW student Stephanie Lovins (center) -- an intern with the Shelby County Public Defender's Office. Tavoiya Bell (left) of the Jericho Project was also recognized for her mentoring role.

Jericho Project Recognized for Social Work Education

Kena Vassar learned the importance of connecting people in the criminal justice system to needed social services on the job — working with Shelby County’s Jericho Project. Since 2008, Kena has been serving people living with serious mental illness and substance use disorders, who often cycle through the justice system repeatedly. She and a team of specialists from the Shelby […]