Matt Dugan was appointed the Chief Public Defender of the Allegheny County Office of the Public Defender in January 2020 after serving as the Acting Chief Public Defender since May 2019. Mr. Dugan began his career with the Public Defender’s Office in February 2007 as a trial attorney. In 2013, he was promoted to the position of trial manager and became Deputy of the Pre-Trial Division in March 2016. Beginning in September 2018, he assumed the role of Chief Deputy Director.
Matt Dugan has devoted his career to ensuring the most marginalized members of our community have access to fair and just outcomes in the courtroom. That’s not always made him the most popular person in the room, especially in a society that desperately wants to create a narrative of good vs. evil in the criminal justice system. The truth is the system doesn’t work that way. And in Allegheny County, the system isn’t working at all. Every day we’re failing the people who encounter the criminal justice system. We fail to address the issues that bring defendants into the system: substance abuse disorder, untreated or undiagnosed mental health issues, and instability due to poverty. We’re failing victims of violent crime by not securing convictions in our most serious cases. We’re failing Allegheny County because our criminal justice system refuses to acknowledge the humanity of the individuals it is meant to serve.