Materials from National Symposium on Indigent Defense to help you improve your indigent defense system

Leaders from all areas of indigent defense gathered in Washington on February 18-19, 2010 to participate in the Department of Justice National Symposium on Indigent Defense: Looking Back, Looking Forward, 2000-2010.   In the hope of seeding successful reform efforts in more and more jurisdictions across the nation, the DOJ Bureau of Justice Assistance has made available all of the materials that were distributed during the Symposium.  Speeches, seminar materials, powerpoint presentations, and background papers are publicly available.  This is a wealth of information, describing efforts led by judges, prosecutors, state legislators, academicians, and public defenders from around the country to improve our criminal justice systems, and results that you can replicate to advance public defense representation in your jurisdiction.

Browse key reform documents, like the history of Nevada report that led the Nevada Supreme Court to order the removal of the judiciary from the administration of indigent defense, promulgate performance standards, and create a uniform eligibility standard.  Read the "Blueprint for a Safer Michigan" statement by the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan, Michigan Sheriffs Association, Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police, and Michigan Association of Counties, all calling for increased indigent defense resources as a key plank in their public safety platform.  Attorney General Eric Holder called the ABA Ten Principles the "building blocks" of a functioning system in his keynote address.  Encourage your local, county, and state policymakers to read the materials so that they will be educated about the Ten Principles and core issues related to case overload, independence, and supervision.

Author/Organization: Phyllis E. Mann
Publication Date: 03/26/2010