Gideon's Promise Honors Mississippi Attorney for Dedication to Poor Clients

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Public Defender Awarded for Work Serving the Indigent

Gideon’s Promise, an organization founded to work with public defenders to improve the quality of representation for indigent defendants, has named Beau Rudder as the recipient of its annual Stephen B. Bright Public Defender Award. Each year, the honor is bestowed upon a member of Gideon’s Promise whose efforts go above and beyond to improve the quality of legal counsel provided to the poor.

Rudder is Director of Training for the Office of the State Public Defender in Jackson, Mississippi. In addition to his public duties, Rudder has served as trainer and faculty member at Gideon’s Promise for four years and is instrumental in working with the state to recruit more public defenders within Mississippi to join Gideon’s Promise. Rudder is a former Assistant Public Defender for the Jackson County Office of the Public Defender in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

The award is named in honor of Yale professor Stephen B. Bright, who also serves as president and senior counsel for the Southern Center for Human Rights. Bright is well known for his work to level the scales of justice for poor clients who cannot afford to hire their own private attorney.

“It is certainly a pleasure to give this award to Beau, a true public servant who understands the need to ensure our public defense system is strong,” said Jonathan Rapping, President and Founder of Gideon’s Promise. “He has earned this honor through his willingness to share his expertise with others over the years.”

The nonprofit group Gideon’s Promise provides public defenders with comprehensive support, ongoing education and training to help them navigate high caseloads and provide quality representation for indigent clients accused of crimes. The nonprofit organization, based in Atlanta, currently provides its services to public defense attorneys in thirteen states across the Southern United States. Estimates find nearly 90% of all defendants charged with a crime cannot afford private counsel and rely on public defenders to represent them in court.

For more information on the work and mission of Gideon’s Promise, visit us online at “Like” us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter at @Gideons_Promise.


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Ilham Askia

Jon Rapping