Southeast Reception 2017 Community Champion Honoree: Carlos J Martinez

The Southeast Regional Awards Reception brings together professionals and community supporters of LatinoJustice to celebrate the contributions and achievements of our 2017 honorees. This year's Community Champion Honoree for our 2017 Southeast Reception is Carlos J. Martinez . You can join us in honoring Carlos by clicking here.

Carlos J. Martinez, the first Hispanic elected Public Defender in the US, is Miami-Dade County’s Public Defender. He was elected in 2008, and re-elected in 2012 and 2016. Mr. Martinez manages an office with a $30 million budget, and 400 employees, handling approximately 75,000 cases each year.

Prior to law school, Mr. Martinez worked his way up from being a car wash attendant to managing multiple gas stations for Exxon Company USA. In the Public Defender’s Office, Mr. Martinez represented thousands of clients before working as an administrator for more than a decade. He has instituted numerous programs to help troubled youth get on the right track. He has been active in addressing the crisis of minority children cycled from schools to prisons.

Mr. Martinez serves on the National Association for Public Defense Steering Committee and is a member of the Institute for Innovation In Prosecution’s Executive Session on Rethinking the Role of the Prosecutor in the Community. He served as Vice President of the Florida Public Defender Association, chaired The Florida Bar’s Legal Needs of Children Committee, served on the Supreme Court of Florida Steering Committee on Drug Courts and the Steering Committee on Families and Children, and the Florida Blueprint Commission on Juvenile Justice.

Mr. Martinez has served on technical assistance and training teams across the United States and Latin America, including the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (Dominican Republic, Chile and Mexico), the Honduran National Office of Public Defense, and the Public Defender Offices in Schenectady County (NY), San Bernardino County (CA), Maricopa County (Phoenix, AZ), and Marion County (Indianapolis, IN).

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