This was nice work by an attorney who did the necessary preparation and, as a result, understood the weaknesses in the State’s cases. He used that knowledge, along with his experience, to get great results for all three clients.
In addition to her leadership at the Public Defender’s Office, Ryan is a community leader that constantly strives to better the lives of our clients. Ryan has taken on a lot of additional hard work and has deservedly received recognition!
Ryan recently received a Judicial appointment to the River City Facilities Governing Board.
Ryan also recently completed Cornell University’s Diversity and Inclusion certificate program. The course emphasized that all leaders have the responsibility for building culture within an organization. There were four primary topics covered: Improving Engagement, Counteracting Unconscious Bias, Diversity and Inclusion at Work, and Fostering an Inclusive Climate.
Black Defender Leadership Institute
While enrolled in her Cornell studies, Ryan learned that she had been accepted into the Black Defender Leadership Institute that was developed by the Black Public Defender Association.
BPDA developed the Black Defender Leadership Institute (BDLI) to train emerging Black leaders and support them in becoming the next generation of leaders in public defense who are equipped to dismantle systems of racialized oppression. BDLI was designed to encourage participants to see themselves as part of the movement and to seek leadership positions at their organizations whenever available.
BDLI is the first of its kind in the country. It provides specialized leadership training for Black defenders along with professional support tailored to the unique lived experiences of balancing their professional development in an overwhelmingly white profession while helping their fellow Black brethren navigate through traumatic systems of oppression and harm. BDLI is unique in its mission to offer continuous personalized support to Black emerging leaders as they reach new benchmarks, assume new positions, and achieve career goals.
2022 Federal Bar Association PLEDGE Emerging Leader Honoree
Ryan was one of thirteen emerging women lawyers recognized by the Federal Bar Association earlier this year. Ryan was selected because of her notable legal experience, exceptional legal talent and skill, exemplary legal standards and professionalism, and her commitment and dedication to both her workplace and community.
Kathryn A. Ancona
Law Office of the Hamilton County Public Defender
Dear Public Defenders,
Now that early voting in Ohio has started, I wanted to reach out regarding Issue 1 on the ballot. The Office of the Ohio Public Defender strongly opposes Issue 1 because of its negative and disproportional impact on our clients.
What does Issue 1 do?
Issue 1 amends the Ohio Constitution to do two things. First, Issue 1 requires courts “to consider public safety, including the seriousness of the offense, as well as a person’s criminal record, the likelihood a person will return to court, and any other factor the Ohio General Assembly may prescribe” when setting bail. Second, the constitutional amendment removes the Ohio Supreme Court’s authority to set rules and procedures regarding bail and gives that power to the Ohio Legislature.
Why is OPD opposed?
Under the guise of “public safety,” Issue 1 will allow courts to set ridiculously high cash bail amounts to keep legally innocent people locked up pretrial. Our clients’ due process rights will be infringed as prosecutors will not have to meet the requirements of a pretrial detention hearing to keep our clients locked up. Instead of taking the time to set pretrial release conditions that are specific to each person and each case or doing a pretrial detention hearing, courts will just set high cash bail amounts, and hope defendants cannot pay it.
What’s the big deal?
As you well know and have probably observed over your career, legally innocent people who are incarcerated pretrial are at risk of losing their employment, homes, and families. Individuals who are incarcerated pretrial are more likely to plea to offenses they did not commit, have worse outcomes in their case, and receive longer prison sentences. Our clients should not have to wait in jail just because they cannot afford bail.
Doesn’t this happen now?
Unfortunately, courts and prosecutors have historically ignored state and federal case law that makes clear that cash bail is only meant to assure the person returns to court. However, Issue 1 will enshrine this unfair practice into Ohio’s Constitution.
Why is Issue 1 bad for public safety?
Courts and prosecutors will have little to no information about a defendant’s finances when setting these arbitrarily high cash bail amounts. Individuals like our clients, who do not have much money, will be stuck in jail, whereas wealthy individuals, even potentially dangerous ones, will pay to be released.
Why is Issue 1 on the ballot now?
Issue 1 is meant to overrule the Ohio Supreme Court case DuBose v. McGuffey, Slip Opinion No. 2022-Ohio-8. Some political observers have stated that this is an effort to bring out “tough on crime” voters and swing the Ohio Supreme Court races in their favor.
What can I do?
Vote no on Issue 1. Share this information with your staff, colleagues, friends, and families. Additional talking points are attached. Also, support OPD’s social media post opposing Issue 1.
As always, thank you for your service and leadership. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you need additional resources.
Congratulations to Angela Chang, our Youth Defense Division Director! Ms. Chang has been awarded a Robert E. Shepherd Jr. Leadership Award for Excellence in Youth Defense by The Gault Center. She was nominated for this award by the Gault Center’s National Advisory Board. This Board wrote, in part:
“Some of her most impactful work has been done in recent years, where she’s been instrumental in ensuring a legacy of zealous advocacy and support for system-involved youth in Cincinnati. Over the past few years, Angela wrote and won several grants from OJJDP, securing grant funding for her office to employ full time social workers and bring a holistic defense model to Ohio. This made Cincinnati one of the first jurisdictions in Ohio to house such a program in their youth defender office.
The Executive Director of the Gault Center, also had this to say about Ms. Chang: Above all else, you’ve been described as “compassionate” and that “she leaves every place she goes better than she found it, including the youth legal system.”
Thank you for all that you do for the Youth Defense Community, the children you represent, and embodying visionary leadership in youth defense.
Congratulations Angela Chang and thank you again for everything that you do!
Kathryn A. Ancona
Law Office of the Hamilton County Public Defender
Our 2022 hiring class started August 11. Our 2022 hiring class comes from Kentucky, New Jersey, California, Utah, Florida, Cincinnati, New York, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, Cleveland, and Cincinnati. Our hiring team recruits lawyers who are committed to client-centered indigent defense and serving their community.