I have developed a 3-step plan for strengthening the Knox County Public Defender’s office. To help voters better understand these steps, I have written a blog series describing my plan for each of these steps, which I believe will advance the office and stop crime before it starts.

Step 1:  I will embrace the holistic approach of treating the whole person, and not just the crime, thus reducing the number of repeat offenders.

What sets the Knox County Public Defender’s Community Law Office apart is its holistic approach to criminal defense. This holistic approach does not just focus on the crime an individual may have been charged with, but instead treats the entire person, addressing whatever contributing life circumstances or needs he or she may have. These could include drug or alcohol addiction, homelessness, or mental health issues. This approach is beneficial to the community as a whole by reducing repeat offenses and helping clients become productive and successful members of the community.

The Community Law Office has a team of social workers and organizational relationships within the community, enabling it to provide a variety of social services to its clients, whether they have been charged with a crime or not. In addition, the Community Law Office provides a number of other services, including after-school and summer programs for children as well as free legal clinics for veterans, for the homeless, and for debt relief. The office also collects and distributes food and school supplies to those in need.

As Public Defender, I will embrace and advance this holistic approach and community outreach with more research and feedback from its staff and community. I will encourage the office to analyze and suggest other methods of collaboration in order to provide additional services to both the office’s clients and to the greater community. The job of the Public Defender is to represent impoverished clients in criminal cases, and I will ensure that the office never loses sight of that. I believe that addressing a client’s unique needs in every case, regardless of how minor the case may seem or how little help the client may seem to need, is the key to ending his or her involvement in the criminal justice system. These positive outcomes are beneficial for all Knox County citizens. To make comments, read more about my 3-step plan, or learn more about me, visit and “like” my Facebook page.