PDC Resource Center

​​​Public Defender Services (PDS) developed the Public Defender Corporation Resource Center (PDCRC) to serve public defender corporations by utilizing specialists to assist attorneys in criminal defense advocacy. Creating the Public Defender Corporation Resource Center (PDCRC) has optimized funding by housing certain personnel at the agency dedicated to serving all the public defender corporations.​ I​n particular, the resource center allows smaller public defender corporations--which receive funding in proportion​​ to their size--to access specialists the offices would not be able to employ independently. 

In addition to the resources and services available from Public Defender Services' Appellate Advocacy Division, the following resources are available to attorneys and staff members of the Public Defender Corporations (PDCs): ​​​​mitigation and alternative sentencing resources, juvenile reso​urces, and administrative, personnel, and technology consultation. ​

The resource center consists of a Juvenile Resource Specialist, a Criminal Justice Specialist, and an Administrator. The Juvenile Resource Specialist consults with and assists attorneys in the various corporations regarding the representation of juveniles and the representation of parties in abuse and neglect proceedings in both trial and appellate courts. The Criminal Justice Specialist consults with and assists attorneys in the various corporations in their advocacy on behalf of clients with respect to sentencing and placement. The Administrator consults with and assists the chief public defenders in the development of budgets to support the application for grants and to administer the grants when made. All of these personnel are charged with identifying federal or other sources of funding that might be available to the public defender corporations.​

​PDC Resource Center​ ​Staff Bios​​

Jonathan graduated from WVU College of Law in 2008, where he was active in the ADR Society (President), Phi Alpha Delta (President), OUTLaw, and other organizations. He is a vocal advocate of process improvement methods (Lean, Kaizen, Six Sigma), Just Culture, Crucial Conversations, and other topics that have labeled him the office management geek, a title he lovingly embraces.
As PDC Administrator, Jonathan is responsible for overseeing eighteen independent non-state agencies, consisting of approximately two hundred fifty employees across twenty-four offices and comprising a total budget of around 19.2 million dollars. In addition to his PDC duties, Jonathan participates in brainstorming sessions and moot court with the Appellate Division, assists in organizing the annual conference, and serves as the internal tech consultant for the office.

Prior to joining PDS in 2014, Jonathan was the Office Manager of the Thirtieth Judicial Circuit PDC in Williamson. Send email
Stephanne Thornton is a graduate of the University of Georgia's Graduate School of Social Work. She has been clinically licensed as a social worker and addiction counselor since 2004 and currently holds a Master Addiction Counselor certificate through NAADAC and is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker through the West Virginia Board of Social Work. Stephanne has worked as a mitigation specialist and sentencing advocate in indigent criminal defense offices in Georgia and West Virginia. She has presented various trainings on topics such as mitigation, sentencing advocacy, and criminal offender assessments. Send email
Jessica joined Public Defender Services as the PDC Resource Center Coordinator in 2017. In this role, she serves as a liaison between the public defender corporations and PDS and provi​des logistical support to the other PDCRC team members. She also enjoys contributing to celebrations for any and all holidays and birthdays at PDS. Prior to working at PDS, Jessica was a caregiver providing in home healthcare. She graduated from Riverside High School and attended West Virginia University Institute of Technology. Jessica is the proud mother of two sons—Aiden and Nolan—and can be found pursuing her interests in basketball and minerals in her free time. ​Send email

Additional services and resources available to the public defender corporations can be found in our​ brochure.