The Federal Defender Program, Inc., for the Northern District of Illinois breathes life into the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of effective assistance of counsel to those unable to afford the cost of a private federal practitioner. While operational funding through a generous grant from the U.S. judiciary provides the primary source of our funding, certain critically important programs run by our office remain unfunded. There is no financial assistance provided to conduct office-wide team building and development programs, student intern training and skill enhancement programming, or to provide recognition for outstanding service to our clients. In short, many important aspects of our office’s work and efforts go under or unfunded.

The Thomas D. Decker Memorial Fund aims to provide the Program with the ability to meet these needs. The fund is named in honor of one of the founders of the Federal Defender Program. Tom Decker served as the original Deputy Director and became a Chicago criminal defense legend during a long and illustrious career. Throughout that career, Tom tirelessly provided assistance and support to Staff and Panel Attorneys alike.

Please consider financially assisting the FDP in these and other important endeavors.  Your support makes all the difference. Every donation impacts the lives our clients and their loved ones. A tax deductible contribution to the Thomas D. Decker Memorial Fund will help us enhance our mission. You can send a check to the Thomas D. Decker Memorial Fund c/o the Federal Defender Program, Inc., 55 East Monroe Street, Suite 2800, Chicago, IL  60304 or make your gift online by clicking on the donate button below. And please consider soliciting a matching donation from your employer. Please contact Michael Wysopal at if you have any questions.

Donation Link