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Defender client wins achievement award

John “Jay” Coleman, chairman of the New York State Defenders Association’s Client Advisory Board, will receive the Eddie Ellis Life Time Achievement Award on Saturday.

The award was created by Citizens Against Recidivism Inc. to honor contributions by formerly incarcerated people.
Coleman, who joined the board soon after paroling in 2005, was nominated by Jonathan E. Gradess, NYSDA’s executive director.

Coleman’s relationship with the board began after he responded to a 2003 NYSDA request to people in prison for feedback on a draft of Client-Centered Representation Standards. Coleman and NYSDA’s Client Advisory Board are now developing a training program to help public defense offices create and use client advisory boards.

Coleman, like all the members of the Client Advisory Board, works with NYSDA on a volunteer basis. He is employed full time as a life skills educator with the Albany branch of the Center for Employment Opportunities’ Prisoner Reentry Program.

The Fourth Annual Citizens’ Awards ceremony of Citizens Against Recidivism Inc. will be held in New York City. For more information, visit www.citizensinc.org/FutureEvents2010.htm.

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