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The first black woman to be nominated as the top public defender of Connecticut

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The Associated Press

Associated Press

Hartford, Connecticut (AP) —The first black woman has been appointed as the highest official defender of Connecticut.

Tashun Bowden Lewis, who officially began work on Friday to oversee the Public Defender Services Department, said he wanted to give minority clients greater confidence in the state's criminal justice system.

"I want my clients and her family to understand that we are in trenches with them. We support them." She told Hartford Courant.

Bowden-Lewis was appointed by the Public Defender Services Commission in late May. This department represents clients in more than 100,000 criminal, child protection, misconduct defense, and family support cases each year.

Bowden-Lewis keeps in mind that she is "representative is important" given the racial composition of the department's clients, and it is important that she is the first black woman to work. She said she understands sex.

Bowden-Lewis grew up in Norwalk and she earned a law degree from Quinnipiac University. She joined the Connecticut Public Defense Agency after she began working as a temporary legal aide in New Haven.

Bowden-Lewis works in the New Haven and Waterbury Courts and most recently oversaw the Public Defender Office of the Waterbury Judicial District.