ST. JOSEPH — Outside the Public Defender’s Office in St. Joseph is a tent, several chairs strategically placed for social distancing, and a cooler filled with ice and bottles of water.

No, it’s not set up for a staff picnic. It’s a makeshift waiting area for clients, who are only let into the office one at a time. And it’s part of the innovative efforts the Berrien County Public Defender’s Office has put in place to remain open and provide access for clients during the coronavirus pandemic.

Contact:, 932-0359, Twitter @HPSwidwa