Investigative Skills

Defense investigation is a complex and ever-evolving practice. Trainings from introductory to advanced are available to Office of the Colorado State Public Defender (OSPD) investigators, whether in their individual offices, at statewide meetings and conferences, and through national public defense organizations, such as the National Association of Public Defenders and National Defender Investigator Association.

All OSPD investigators are required to complete Core Investigator Skills (“CIS”), a multi-day training offered several times per year and designed for new hires. CIS covers the essentials of investigation practice, including ethics, interviewing, testifying, mitigation, defense theories, subpoenas and more. CIS is taught by the State Director of Criminal Investigation and a rotating faculty of seasoned investigators, attorneys, and other core staff.

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Annual Conference

The Colorado Public Defender organizes an annual Colorado State Public Defender Conference, which includes speakers and trainings on a variety of topics over three days. Many sessions are targeted for investigative skills and multi-disciplinary practice. Additional statewide trainings are offered throughout the year, both in-person and by video conference. Most regional offices offer in-house training and mentoring for their teams, and investigators are encouraged to seek out conferences and other training opportunities through national organizations.

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