For Immediate ReleaseJanuary 10, 2020
Marin County’s Public Defender to speak at January 27 event in Sausalito
San Rafael, CA – Marin County Public Defender Jose Varela will join several other panelists January 27 for a public forum about efforts to prevent troubled local teens from venturing onto the wrong path and into a life of incarceration.
Varela, the County’s Public Defender since 2010, is a former trial attorney who is active in many associations, steering committees, and groups that focus on social equity and cultural competency. He has led the Association of Latino Marin Attorneys and was the 2015 “Heart of Marin” Volunteer of the Year for the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Marin. Under his leadership, the Public Defender's Office has created a widely respected internship program, mentoring young adults from all walks of life and guiding them to reach their potential.
Varela oversees a staff of 37 that provides legal defense for suspects who cannot afford paid professional representation in court. The Public Defender’s office handles thousands of cases per year, and it’s estimated that more than 500 annually involve people under age 21 from Marin.
The ACLU said school suspensions are one of the key factors leading young people into the prison pipeline. The proposed solution is to work together to understand the causes and alternatives to suspension and prevent students from continuing down a path toward incarceration. Panelists will discuss Marin’s suspension rates, existing policies, and continuing education programs.
Attendees for the January 27 forum should RSVP online. Light food and refreshments will be provided.
Jose VarelaPublic DefenderCounty of Marin
Marin County Civic Center3501 Civic Center DriveSuite 139San Rafael, CA 94903(415) 473-6321Email: Jose VarelaPublic Defender website