The California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (CACJ) is a nonprofit association
of criminal defense attorneys and allied professionals established to
improve the criminal justice system and provide continuing education of
the criminal defense bar. CACJ is not a state agency – nor are there
attorneys in our office to provide legal assistance, and we are not equipped
to provide referrals on individual cases.
Depending on the nature of your case/problem or issue you may want to contact
one of the following offices:
CACJ Member Search
Find an Attorney resource, and view our member attorneys by name or area.
My Prop 47
On November 4, 2014, California voters passed Proposition 47, a law that
changed certain low-level crimes from potential felonies to misdemeanors.
The savings from reduced incarceration costs will be invested into drug
and mental health treatment, programs for at-risk students in K-12 schools,
and victim services.
Changing Your Felony
Individuals who are currently incarcerated for offenses committed in the
state of California that are impacted by Proposition 47 can seek to be
resentenced and released (this is known as resentencing).
Individuals who have been previously convicted of these felonies for crimes
committed in the state of California can apply to have them changed on
their record to misdemeanors (this is known as reclassification). Removal
of a felony record can reduce immigration consequences and help remove
barriers to jobs, housing and stability.
The CA State Bar Referral Program
Law Help CA.org
LawHelpCA.org helps people of low and moderate incomes find free legal
information and legal aid programs in their communities
Pro Bono Project
Mission: Since its founding in 1986, Pro Bono Project has been dedicated
to representing clients of limited means and improving access to justice.
Pro Bono Project utilizes talented and caring attorneys who volunteer
their time and energy to work on full and limited scope pro bono cases
in family law, domestic violence, and consumer law. “Justice for
all” is not a vague concept, but our mission.
Prison Law Office
The Prison Law Office provides free legal services to California state
prisoners and occasionally to California state parolees. They represent
individual prisoners, engage in class action and other impact-litigation,
and educate the public about prison conditions. They also provide self-help
and informational materials to prisoners, including a habeas corpus manual,
parolee rights manual and personal injury lawsuit packet, as well as material
regarding administrative remedies, divorce, guard brutality, immigration,
loss of personal property, plea bargains, release dates, workers’
compensation and work-time credits.
http://prisonlaw.com/ for more information
Their publications include:
THE CALIFORNIA STATE PRISONERS HANDBOOK, THIRD EDITION (2001) & 2006
by Steven Fama, Heather MacKay, Michael R. Snedeker, James F. Smith and
The Prison Law Office.
The California State Prisoners Handbook is a valuable resource for prisoners,
and their attorneys and advocates. The Handbook discusses in detail the
laws governing prisoner rights and the policies and practices of the California
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The 1,000-page Third Edition
is now joined by a 320-page 2006 Supplement. Includes court forms and
model pleadings! 17 completely updated chapters cover topics such as:
administrative appeals, rights of prisoners, classification and transfers,
determinate sentences, time credits and release dates, life prisoners,
disciplinary and segregation rules, medical and mental health care, detainers
and extradition, early and temporary releases and special prison programs,
parole, MDO and SVP commitments, workers compensation and other benefits,
the non-citizen and the INS, writs of habeas corpus and mandate, federal
civil rights and state law actions, and direct appeals of convictions.
Additional publications available from the Prison Law Office:
California Appellate Project
The California Appellate Project in San Francisco (CAP-SF) is a non-profit
corporation established by the State Bar of California in 1983 as a legal
resource center to implement the constitutional right to counsel for indigent
persons facing execution. CAP serves the largest population of condemned
individuals in the country and is funded primarily by a contract with
the Judicial Council of California.
CALIFORNIA APPELLATE PROJECT
101 Second Street, Suite 600
San Francisco, California 94105
CAP-SF assists private counsel appointed by the California Supreme Court
to represent indigent defendants in capital cases challenging their convictions
and sentences on direct appeal and through habeas corpus proceedings,
and provides them with professional training and litigation resource materials.
In addition, CAP-SF assists unrepresented death row inmates by collecting
and preserving evidence for their post-conviction claims, and by providing
advocacy as needed during the period of incarceration before counsel is
appointed. CAP-SF also consults, at the request of the judiciary, on policy
matters regarding indigent defense representation in capital cases.
Inmates seeking appellate assistance in non-capital appeals or habeas corpus
should contact the Court of Appeal appointed counsel project serving the
county in which the trial occurred, or the Office of the Federal Defender
within the federal district serving that county, for federal habeas corpus
The five projects which serve the six Appellate Districts are First District
Appellate Project; California Appellate Project Los Angeles, Central California
Appellate Program, Appellate Defenders Inc., and the Sixth District Appellate
Project (Central California Appellate Program in Sacramento serves both
the 3rd and 5th districts.) CAP’s office in Los Angeles (CAP-LA)
contracts to serve the Second Appellate District for non-capital appeals
only. CAP-LA does not deal with any capital cases, and neither do any
of the other Court of Appeal projects. The CAP-SF office assists only
in capital appeals.
First District Appellate Project
730 Harrison Street, Suite 201
San Francisco, CA 94107
Phone: (415) 495-3119
Central California Appellate Program (CCAP)
2407 J Street, Suite 301
Sacramento, CA 95816-4736
Phone: (916) 441-3792
California Appellate Project – LA
520 S. Grand Avenue, 4th Floor
Los Angeles CA 90071
Phone: (213) 243-0300
Appellate Defenders Inc.
555 West Beech St, Ste 300
San Diego CA 92101
Phone: (619) 696-0282
Sixth District Appellate Project
100 N. Winchester Blvd, Suite 310
Santa Clara CA 95050
Phone: (408) 241-6171
Office of the State Public Defender
The Office of the State Public Defender was created to represent indigent
criminal defendants on appeal. Over the years, the mission of the agency
has changed and now focuses its resources on post-conviction appellate
representation in death penalty cases.
There are two offices in California:
Office of the State Public Defender
221 Main Street, 10th Floor
San Francisco CA 94105
Phone: (415) 904-5600
Office of the State Public Defender
801 K St., Suite 1100
Sacramento CA 95814
Phone: (916) 322-2676