Healthy New Jersey

Office of the Public Defender

NJOPD Welcomes Assistant Public Defender to Push Forward Client-Centered, Holistic Defense Model


New Jersey Office of the Public Defender
– Jennifer N. Sellitti, Public Defender


Cristina LiBassi, Director of Communications

TRENTON – April 17, 2024 – The New Jersey Office of the Public Defender (NJOPD) today announced the arrival of Assistant Public Defender Prescott Loveland, who will serve as part of its management team in Trenton. Loveland joins NJOPD after nearly a decade with the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (PDS), where he served as a Trial Division Supervisor and Staff Attorney. With experience in law, social work, defense investigation and strategic planning, Loveland will tap his interdisciplinary background and deep knowledge of collaborative defense to help support NJOPD’s transition to a more integrated and holistic model.

“It is imperative that the NJOPD continues on its path toward a more holistic defense model; one that focuses on the whole person and breaks down siloes among practice areas to better support New Jerseyans as well as to resolve underlying issues they may face,” said Public Defender Jennifer Sellitti. “Prescott brings first-hand experience with this type of representation and an impressively comprehensive skillset. We are excited to welcome him home to New Jersey as we redesign and improve our approach on behalf of those we serve.”

In his new role, Loveland will help manage and support the office’s forthcoming holistic defense pilots, the new forensic and immigration units, and trial training efforts. He will spearhead interdisciplinary advocacy that further strengthens working relationships among staff as well as across units and divisions.

“I am thrilled to return home to New Jersey—where I was born and raised—and serve the people of this state alongside my talented NJOPD colleagues, especially as the office undergoes this important transition,” said Loveland. “I have long been passionate about defense that is collaborative, zealous and client-centered, and I have seen how a more integrated approach can lead to better outcomes for people, cases and the community. I look forward to working with Jennifer Sellitti and all of NJOPD as we move New Jersey to the forefront of public defense.”

While at PDS, Loveland defended adults and juveniles accused of the most serious offenses in D.C. Superior Court. In addition to serving as a Trial Division Supervisor, he represented individuals accused of homicide and other first-degree felonies. Loveland’s trial and litigation experience includes complex forensic and mental health issues and defending children prosecuted as adults. He was also a member of the PDS Hiring Committee and the Forensic Practice Group.

Loveland received his J.D. and M.S.W. from Fordham University. In 2015, he was named Fordham Law’s Public Service Valedictorian and received the top award for trial advocacy. Loveland also co-founded the Fordham Law Defenders, was a Stein Scholar for Public Interest and served as Editor-in-Chief of the Brendan Moore Trial Advocacy Program.


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