© 2023 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WEDH · WEDN · WEDW · WEDY · WNPR
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
ATSC 3.0 FAQ
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Connecticut’s new top public defender 1st Black woman in job

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — For the first time, a Black woman has been appointed as Connecticut’s chief public defender.

TaShun Bowden-Lewis, who officially began her job on Friday overseeing the Division of Public Defender Services, said she hopes to provide minority clients with a greater sense of trust in the state’s criminal justice system.

“I do want our clients and our families to understand that we’re in the trenches with them. We support them,” she told The Hartford Courant.

Bowden-Lewis was appointed in late May by the Public Defender Services Commission. The division represents clients in more than 100,000 criminal, child protection, delinquency defense, and family support cases annually.

Bowden-Lewis said she understands the importance of being the first Black woman to hold the job, noting that “representation matters” given the racial makeup of the division’s clients.

Bowden-Lewis grew up in Norwalk and earned her law degree from Quinnipiac University. She began her career working as a temporary assistant law clerk in New Haven before joining the Connecticut Division of Public Defender Services.

Bowden-Lewis has worked in the New Haven and Waterbury courts, most recently serving as supervisor of the public defender’s office for the Waterbury Judicial District.

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.

Stand up for civility

This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.

Related Content