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Chicago of Chicago
volunteers from the Cook County Public Defender's Office pose for photo
People at Court
Office leadership
Swearing In
Community outreach at Chicago's Fiesta del Sol 2023
Assistant Public Defender consults with her client in a courtroom
Pride Parade
Assistant Public Defender consults with his client in a courtroom
volunteers from the Cook County Public Defender's Office participate at Freedom Defense Camp in Roseland
Public Defender staff carrying signs in 2023 Bud Billiken parade

Cook County Public Defender

90+ years of protecting your rights

Our Mission

We protect the fundamental rights, liberties and dignity of each person whose case has been entrusted to us by providing the finest legal representation.

In the Community

Building relationships; strengthening trust

The Cook County Public Defender's Office works to strengthen the relationship and trust between our office and the communities we serve. We are building coalitions with community organizations focused on issues of justice, liberation, fairness and equity. We're excited about developing new models of community presence and ways to be accessible to the people we serve.

We are working to strengthen advocacy by centering power in the community. We are taking traditional criminal legal defense out of the courthouse and into the community to provide more collaborative representation and services.

As part of these efforts, we plan to launch our first community defense center in Chicago's South Side community of Roseland during 2024.

In the News

The following op-ed was published in the Chicago Tribune on October 11, 2023. This month, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services Director Marc Smith resigned. The conversation has since focused on DCFS failures to protect children in its care.

Know Your Rights

About Our Arrest Hotline: 844-817-4448

  • If you or someone you know is arrested, it's important to know your rights.
  • Do not talk to the police. Anyone in police custody has the right to remain silent.
  • Call 844-817-4448 and we will send an expert attorney to the police station to represent you for free.
  • The Arrest Hotline serves Chicago and all of Cook County, Illinois. It operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.