Turahn Jenkins was born in Pittsburgh and grew up in Monroeville, PA. He is the youngest of 4 children, and has 3 older sisters. He resides in Churchill, PA with his wife, Di’Ray, and they have one daughter and one son. His hobbies include traveling, photography and spending time with his family. In addition to his legal experience listed below, Turahn Jenkins is also an Adjunct Professor at Duquesne University School of law and teaches a Public Defender clinic.
School and Experience
Turahn attended school in the Gateway School District, and graduated from Gateway Senior High School in 1995. While in college at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, he completed an internship with the Allegheny County Juvenile Court Intake Division. This gave him his first exposure to the criminal justice system. Turahn graduated in May of 1999, and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology.
Upon graduation from college, Turahn began his career in social work. He worked at Allegheny Children’s Initiative, Citizen’s Care, Inc., and Turtle Creek Valley MH/MR as a Therapeutic Staff Support, specializing primarily in in-house and school based therapy for youth and adolescents.
In the fall of 2001, Turahn enrolled at Duquesne University School of Law and then completed judicial externships in both the U.S. District Court of Western Pennsylvania, with the Honorable Ralph Cindrich, as well as the Superior Court of Pennsylvania with the Honorable Maureen Lally-Green. Additionally, he studied abroad at the China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing, China. He also worked in the Pittsburgh Public Schools as a tutor for 5th and 7th grade students. In June of 2004, he earned a Juris Doctor.
Upon completion of law school, Turahn worked part-time as law clerk in the Allegheny County Office of the Public Defender from February through December of 2005.
After receiving his license to practice, he started his legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in the Allegheny County Office of the District Attorney in January of 2006. He handled a wide spectrum of cases involving low level misdemeanors, up to and including criminal homicides. He gained both non-jury and jury trial experience, before leaving the office in October of 2008 to pursue a career private practice.
During this time as a sole practitioner, his practice focused primarily on Criminal Defense. Turahn has represented clients in all stages of the criminal justice system in both Allegheny County and surrounding counties.
In February of 2013, Turahn was hired as the Deputy of Pre-Trial Division for the Allegheny County Office of the Public Defender. He was instrumental in several changes at the Office of the Public Defender’s Office. One of which was the practice of screening all cases for incarcerated clients following their preliminary hearings, and filing bond motions when appropriate to get them released from the jail.
In January of 2016, he was promoted to Chief Deputy Public Defender. While in this role, Mr. Jenkins continued to take steps towards criminal justice reform. To name just a few, the Office of the Public Defender now files Motions to Terminate Probation for clients that remain supervised despite paying off outstanding restitution balances and remaining gainful and productive citizens. Additionally, under his vision, the office now has social workers on staff to assist clients with coordinating resources in a more holistic approach to criminal defense. Lastly, the office now has attorneys present at Pittsburgh Municipal Court for preliminary arraignments when a magistrate first assesses bail. This is the first time in the history of the office, and it affords citizens access to counsel at such a critical stage in the process.
Turahn Jenkins was honored with the 2016 Salute to Legal Excellence Day Award.