New Jersey Office of the Public Defender’s Conviction Integrity Unit
The New Jersey Office of the Public Defender’s (NJOPD’s) Conviction Integrity Unit is located in Newark. With one Deputy Public Defender and other supporting staff, the NJOPD’s Conviction Integrity Unit provides representation for indigent defendants who file a post-conviction relief (PCR) petition. Representation is usually not provided in second or subsequent PCRs that defendants may try to litigate. Most referrals to the Conviction Integrity Unit come from defendants who previously had been represented through the NJOPD trial and appellate regions. However, direct applications for representation also are received and acted on from people not originally represented by the NJOPD at the trial and/or appellate level. An individual seeking post-conviction relief must file the Petition with the Criminal Division Manager (CDM) in the county where the conviction took place. The OPD cannot file the Petition on behalf of the individual seeking PCR review, so the Petition should not be sent to the Conviction Integrity Unit without first being filed with the CDM of the county of conviction. Upon request, the Conviction Integrity Unit will provide to an individual seeking PCR review the forms needed to file a Petition and to ask for Public Defender representation. If you have any questions about this organization, please use the contact information on the right-hand side of the page.