Funding

This Article, published at 75 Mo.L.Rev. 715, is a basic introduction to the provision of indigent defense services in state courts throughout the country and the ethical obligations of the attorneys who provide those services.  First, the Article briefly quantifies what currently exists in our right to counsel systems -- what we know, and what we do not know.  The Article then discusses the rules that generally govern the ethics of representation provided by indigent defense attorneys.  Third, the Article examines the measures by which attorneys can know whether they are fulfilling and will continue to fulfill their ethical obligations.  Finally, the Article discusses the responsibilities of the broader justice system to ensure ethical representation of indigent defendants and why that goal is rarely achieved. 

Author/Organization: Phyllis E. Mann
Publication Date: 2010

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AL Chief Justice echoes call for criminal justice reform

BY Jon Mosher on Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 4:52 PM

On March 8, Alabama Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb delivered the annual State of the Judiciary address, in which she urged the legislature to end the state's overreliance on incarceration of non-violent offenders. "[W]e must lock up violent and serious offenders for lengthy sentences so they cannot continue to harm innocent people.  However, where nonviolent offenders are concerned, there is an alternative to the costly cycle of crime, incarceration, and reoffending.  We need to be certain we are locking up those of whom we are afraid – not just those with whom we are mad."

Watch the BJA Webinar on the Right to Counsel

BY Jon Mosher on Wednesday, March 9, 2011 at 5:03 PM

For those who missed the March 8 webinar, "The Right to Counsel: Standards & Solutions in a Downturned Economy," fret not ... We have posted the webinar onto our website, and you can watch it in its entirety here.  The webinar was presented by NLADA's research director David Carroll, on behalf of the USDOJ/BJA's National Training and Technical Assistance Center.

On March 8, NLADA research director David Carroll conducted a national webinar on behalf of, the DOJ/BJA’s National Training and Technical Assistance Center (NTTAC). While state policymakers work to construct indigent defense systems that meet basic foundational national standards, prudent use of taxpayer dollars requires that they concurrently decrease the need for public defense attorneys by removing non-violent, low-level felonies and misdemeanors from the formal justice system through diversion and/or reclassification of crimes to infractions where it is safe, reasonable and prudent to do so. The presentation explores the state of the right to counsel in America, offers insight into current national standards, and presents practical solutions to public defense problems that threaten our courts' abilities to produce verdicts that are fair, correct, swift and final. The hour-long webinar includes a 40-min presentation followed by 20 mins of questions and answers.

Author/Organization: David Carroll, NLADA
Publication Date: 03/08/2011

Items contained in the NLADA Library do not and are not meant to constitute advice of any kind. Content in the NLADA Library is contributed by users. If you believe this material infringes your or any other person’s copyright or if you feel that the material is inappropriate, please report this to NLADA Staff by clicking below.

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TX Chief Justice speaks out on indigent defense and juvenile justice issues

BY David Carroll on Friday, February 25, 2011 at 3:48 PM

On February 23, 2011, Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace B. Jefferson gave his state of the judiciary before the 82nd state legislature.  Texas has two high courts – the Supreme Court for civil and juvenile matters, and the Court of Criminal Appeals for criminal matters.  Though Justice Jefferson heads the civil high court, he nonetheless felt compelled to speak about indigent defense needs in the state.  Bemoaning the fact that Texas ranks “among the lowest of the 50 states” in right to counsel per capita expenditures, he urged the legislature not to go forward with projected cuts to the indigent defense budget.  The right to counsel is primarily a county responsibility in Texas, with the state making limited contributions through the Texas Task Force on Indigent Defense, which provides state funding, requires local planning for indigent defense and reporting of expenditures, and provides an array of resources for counties to improve these services.  A cut to their budget “would drain the system of resources we need to assure indigent criminal defendants get competent lawyers who make the system fair.”

Commonly referred to as Byrne/JAG grants, the official name is the "Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program."  The program is administered by the Department of Justice (DOJ), Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), and is described by BJA as "the leading source of federal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions."

Author/Organization: Phyllis E. Mann
Publication Date: 02/25/2011

During 2010, the National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA), in partnership with BJA, surveyed the State Administering Agencies (SAAs) that oversee Byrne JAG program funds, to find out how they used those funds.  The survey compiled data on how funds were spent in 2009 (which could include money from 2007, 2008, and 2009 JAG awards, as well as special Recovery Act awards made in 2009).

NCJA prepared this document to show examples of how Byrne JAG funds were used for indigent defense. 

Author/Organization: National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA)
Publication Date: 2010

Items contained in the NLADA Library do not and are not meant to constitute advice of any kind. Content in the NLADA Library is contributed by users. If you believe this material infringes your or any other person’s copyright or if you feel that the material is inappropriate, please report this to NLADA Staff by clicking below.

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During 2010, the National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA), in partnership with BJA, surveyed the State Administering Agencies (SAAs) that oversee Byrne JAG program funds, to find out how they used those funds.  The survey compiled data on how funds were spent in 2009 (which could include money from 2007, 2008, and 2009 JAG awards, as well as special Recovery Act awards made in 2009).  

This document shows how funds were distributed by SAAs, during 2009, across 43 areas of criminal justice.  The results show that, of a total of $1,203,538,214 spent in 2009, only $3,208,686 was spent on public defense -- or roughly 1/4 of 1 percent (0.0027). 

Author/Organization: National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA)
Publication Date: 2010

Items contained in the NLADA Library do not and are not meant to constitute advice of any kind. Content in the NLADA Library is contributed by users. If you believe this material infringes your or any other person’s copyright or if you feel that the material is inappropriate, please report this to NLADA Staff by clicking below.

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Free Webinar: The Right to Counsel: Standards & Solutions in a Downturned Economy

BY Jon Mosher on Thursday, February 10, 2011 at 9:52 AM

On March 8, 2011, JSERI director David Carroll will be conducting a national webinar entitled The Right to Counsel: Standards & Solutions in a Downturned Economy on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance. Program is geared toward policy-makers and judges, but services providers are welcomed. Please forward to key decision-makers in your state. Registration free, but limited.

From watching crime shows on television, we would all have the impression that a prosecutor stands on one side and a public defender stands on the other in every case, giving the appearance that their roles are exact mirror images of each other. But this is not true, for several reasons.

Author/Organization: Phyllis E. Mann
Publication Date: 02/09/2011