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Since the 1970s, the U.S. Department of Justice has both funded and authored a variety of studies and reports relevant to the provision of indigent defense services. Where possible, links to the reports have been included and more will come on line in the coming months. As we work to make this a comprehensive bibliography of indigent defense materials authored or funded by the Department, please contact the Access to Justice Initiative at 202-514-5312 about any appropriate publications that may be missing from this list.

 
Title  Not Sorted Author Not Sorted Year Sorted Descending Funded By Not Sorted Description

Measuring the Effect of Defense Counsel on Homicide Case Outcomes (241158)

James M. Anderson; Paul Heaton 2012 National Institute of Justice

This study examined the impact of randomly assigned public defenders and court-appointed private attorneys in the outcome of criminal cases in Philadelphia, PA. The authors of this report used a sample dataset of 3,412 defendants charged with murder between 1994 and 2005. The study shows that compared to appointed counsel, public defenders reduce their client’s murder conviction rate by 19%, lowered the probability that their clients would receive a life sentence by 62%, and reduced overall expected time served in prison by 24.

Predicting Erroneous Convictions: A Social Science Approach to Miscarriages of Justice (NCJ 241389) Jon B. Gould (American University), Julia Carrano (American University), Richard Leo (University of San Francisco School of Law), Joseph Young (American University) 2012 National Institute of Justice This study examines why innocent people are wrongfully convicted in certain cases yet acquitted in others. The researchers studied 460 violent felonies that occurred between 1980 and 2012 to identify ten factors that led to a wrongful conviction of an innocent person instead of a dismissal or acquittal. The final report offers recommendations to help prevent erroneous convictions, including recommendations on defense practice, exculpatory evidence, eyewitness identification, false confessions, forensic error, police misconduct, weak prosecution evidence, systemic failures and tunnel vision.
The Anatomy of Discretion: An Analysis of Prosecutorial Decision Making Ė Technical Report(NCJ 240334) Bruce Frederick (Vera Institute of Justice) and Don Stemen (Loyola University Chicago) 2012 National Institute of Justice Authors of this report followed two county prosecutorsí offices to examine the impact of legal, quasi-legal, and extra-legal factors on case outcomes throughout the prosecutorial process. The report identifies relationships, along with rules and resources, as contextual constraints that can trump prosecutorial evaluations of the strength and seriousness of the evidence and the defendantís criminal history. While the report finds that prosecutors generally do not alter their decisions simply based on the relationship with the defense attorney, some newer ADAs expressed that a cooperative defense attorney would receive more cooperation from the prosecution, while an antagonistic relationship between the two could result in negative consequences , like less time to prepare, for the defense attorney.
Title: Indigent Defense: DOJ Could Increase Awareness of Eligible Funding and Better Determine the Extent to Which Funds Help Support This Purpose (NCJ 238757) The Government Accountability Office 2012 The Government Accountability Office This report addresses, for fiscal years 2005 through 2010, the (1) types of support DOJ provided for indigent defense; (2) extent to which eligible DOJ funding was allocated or awarded for indigent defense, the factors affecting these decisions, and DOJís actions to address them; (3) percentage of DOJ funding allocated for indigent defense and how it was used; (4) extent to which DOJ collects data on indigent defense funding; and (5) extent to which DOJ assesses the impacts of indigent defense grants, indigent defense programs have been evaluated, and DOJ has supported evaluation efforts. (NCJ 238757, May 2012)
OJP Fact Sheet: Indigent Defense The Office of Justice Programs 2011 The Office of Justice Programs This Fact Sheet offers a brief snapshot of the current state of indigent defense in the U.S. as well as links to other indigent-defense-related informational resources. (FS 000381, December 2011, OJP)
Whoís Better at Defending Criminals? Does Type of Defense Attorney Matter in Terms of Producing Favorable Case Outcomes Thomas H. Cohen 2011 The Bureau of Justice Statistics This paper examines whether there are differences between defense counsel type and the adjudication and sentencing phases of criminal case processing. Results show that private attorneys and public defenders secure similar adjudication and sentencing outcomes for their clients. Defendants with assigned counsel, however, receive less favorable outcomes compared to their counterparts with public defenders. This article concludes by discussing the policy implications of these findings and possible avenues for future research.
International Perspectives on Indigent Defense (NCJ 236022) Maha Jweied and Miranda Jolicoeur (U.S. Department of Justice, Access to Justice Initiative and National Institute of Justice) 2011 Access to Justice Initiative; National Institute of Justice This is a report summarizing an Expert Working Group meeting that convened in January 2011 to discuss the international and domestic practice of criminal indigent defense and the research needed to improve it. The report provides the Federal Government and the indigent defense community with recommendations that can steer the direction of indigent defense research and potential reform strategies for years to come.
Working Paper: How Much Difference Does the Lawyer Make? The Effect of Defense Counsel on Murder Case Outcomes James M. Anderson and Paul Heaton (RAND Infrastructure, Safety, and Environment) 2011 National Institute of Justice This Philadelphia study finds that appointed counsel, public defenders reduce their clientsí murder conviction rate by 19%, lower the probability that their clients receive a life sentence by 62%, and reduce overall expected time served in prison by 24%.
BJS Special Report: Census of Public Defender Offices, 2007: State Public Defender Programs, 2007 (NCJ 22829) Lynn Langton and Donald J. Farole, Jr. (U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics) 2010 Bureau of Justice Statistics This BJS produced report examines the provision of public defender services in the 22 States that had an entirely State-funded and State-administered indigent defense program in 2007.
BJS Special Report: Census of Public Defender Offices, 2007: County-based and Local Public Defender Offices, 2007 (NCJ 231175) Lynn Langton and Donald J. Farole, Jr. (U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics) 2010 Bureau of Justice Statistics This BJS produced report examines the provision of public defender services in the 27 states and the District of Columbia in which indigent defense services were funded and administered by counties or local jurisdictions in 2007.
BJS Selected Findings: Census of Public Defender Offices, 2007: Public Defender Offices, 2007 Ė Statistical Tables (Revised) (NCJ 228538) Lynn Langton and Donald J. Farole, Jr. (U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics) 2010 Bureau of Justice Statistics This report provides a summary of focus group discussions held to review the successes and failures in the delivery of public defense services, and assess the lessons learned resulting in recommendations for the future.
Evidence-Based Practices and Criminal Defense: Opportunities, Challenges, and Practical Considerations (NCJ 226731) Kimberly A. Weibrecht (Crime and Justice Institute and the National Institute of Corrections) 2008 National Institute of Corrections (Federal Bureau of Prisons) This paper provides guidance to criminal defense attorneys on how they can use findings of evidence-based practices (EBP) to improve advocacy for their clients in terms of effective correctional case management based on a client's objective risk and needs assessment. One in a set of papers focused on the role of system stakeholders in reducing offender recidivism through the use of evidence-based practices in corrections.
Public Defense Reform Since Gideon: Improving the Administration of Justice By Building On Our Successes and Learning From Our Failures - A Public Defense Leadership Focus Group (NCJ 230794) U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance; National Legal Aid & Defender Association; Bureau of Justice Assistance Criminal Courts Technical Assistance Project at American University 2008 Bureau of Justice Assistance This report provides a summary of focus group discussions held to review the successes and failures in the delivery of public defense services and assess the lessons learned resulting in recommendations for the future.
North Carolina: An Assessment of Access to Counsel and Quality of Representation in Delinquency Proceedings (NCJ 204538) Lynn Grindall and Patricia Puritz (American Bar Association and the Southern Juvenile Justice Center in collaboration with National Juvenile Defender Center and the North Carolina Office of Indigent Defense Services) 2003 Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention This study assesses access to legal counsel and the quality of legal representation for juveniles in delinquency proceedings in North Carolina.
Efficiency, Timeliness, and Quality: A New Perspective from Nine State Criminal Trial Courts (NCJ 178403) Brian J. Ostrom and Roger A. Hanson (National Center for State Courts) 2003 National Institute of Justice This study examines the relationship between case processing timeliness and quality, finding that more efficient work orientations attorneys and attorneysí views about their work environment and toward each otherís activities were linked to the timeliness of their court.
The Implementation and Impact of Indigent Defense Standards (NCJ 205023) Scott Wallace and David Carroll (National Legal Aid & Defender Association) 2003 National Institute of Justice This report discusses the impact of indigent defense standards in assessing the need for standardization of this constitutionally mandated governmental service.
The Executive Session on Public Defense, Bulletin #3: Cultural Revolution: Transforming the Public Defenderís Office (NCJ 193773) Robin Steinberg and David Feige (Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government) 2002 Bureau of Justice Assistance This bulletin discusses basic values of the public defender culture in order to create a desire to re-evaluate these values and provide a set of concrete suggestions by which public defender managers can make an office model more holistic.
Final Report of the National Defender Leadership Project Vera Institute of Justice 2001 Bureau of Justice Assistance This report is an overview of the National Defender Leadership project, which provides technical assistance and consulting services to criminal defense practitioners and policy makers nationwide.
The Executive Session on Public Defense, Bulletin #2: What Policymakers Need To Know To Improve Public Defense Systems (NCJ 190725) Tony Fabelo (Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government) 2001 Bureau of Justice Assistance This paper is one in a series of papers developed by the Executive Session on Public Defense, a 30-member effort with leading figures in public defense. It sets out questions to aid policymakers in assessing the value and effectiveness of their public defense systems.
BJA Bulletin: Criminal Courts Technical Assistance Project (NCJ 185780) Joseph A. Trotter (Criminal Courts Technical Assistance Project, American University) 2001 Bureau of Justice Assistance This report describes the services and summarizes the publications of the Criminal Courts Technical Assistance Project. Services include onsite consultation to individual courts, justice system agencies, and general government agencies, multijurisdictional workshops, and best-practice guides.
The Executive Session on Public Defense, Bulletin #1: Bolder Management for Public Defense: Leadership in Three Dimensions (NCJ 187768) Cait Clarke and Christopher Stone (Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government) 2001 Bureau of Justice Assistance Using examples from around the Nation, this paper suggests ways in which managers of public defense services can lead their organizations and their field.
BJA Bulletin: The Miami-Dade Public Defenderís Office Juvenile Sentencing Advocacy Project (NCJ 187158) Kelly D. Johnson (Institute on Crime, Justice and Corrections at The George Washington University) 2001 Bureau of Justice Assistance Miami-Dade Public Defender's Juvenile Sentencing Advocacy Project is a juvenile justice sentencing plan that permits judges in adult courts to sentence transferred juveniles to the State's Department of Juvenile Justice, thereby maximizing the effective rehabilitation of youth in a system that was designed to recognize and respond to the developmental needs of adolescents.
BJA Monograph, Indigent Defense Series #4: Keeping Defender Workloads Manageable (NCJ 185632) The Spangenberg Group 2001 Bureau of Justice Assistance This report discusses approaches developed by public defender organizations, state legislatures, state courts and other entities to managing the workloads of attorneys who represent indigent defendants.
U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance and American Bar Association, Bar Information Program State Commissions Project: The Year in Review (The Spangenberg Report, Volume VI, Issue 3, Feb. 2001) David J. Carroll (The Spangenberg Group) 2001 Bureau of Justice Assistance This report has articles on individual states' indigent defense efforts, regional developments, and an international perspective. Articles topics include a release of a Texas indigent defense study, DOJ's release of Standards for Indigent Defense Systems, and the Iowa Indigent Defense Advisory Committee
BJS Special report: National Survey of Indigent Defense Systems, 1999: State-Funded Indigent Defense Services, 1999 (NCJ 188464) Carol J. DeFrances (U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics) 2001 Bureau of Justice Statistics This report examines the characteristics and operations of State-funded indigent defense systems, including how the programs are organized and state operating expenditures.
BJA Bulletin: Providing Effective Representation for Youth Prosecuted as Adults (NCJ 182502) Malcolm C. Young (The Sentencing Project) 2000 Bureau of Justice Assistance This bulletin describes successes in public defendersí attempts to provide high-quality representation to youth prosecuted in adult criminal courts. It uses the experiences of defenders across the country to identify key elements of defender programs that effectively meet the needs of transferred children.
A Conference Report: National Symposium on Indigent Defense 2000: Redefining Leadership for Equal Justice (June 29-30, 2000) (NCJ 187491) U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs 2000 Bureau of Justice Assistance This is the final report on the National Symposium on Indigent Defense 2000 (Washington, DC, June 29-30, 2000), encouraging criminal justice professionals to collaboratively promote the integrity of the criminal justice system and providing recommendations for action by State delegations.
Compendium of Standards for Indigent Defense Systems: A Resource Guide for Practitioners and Policymakers (NCJ 187860) Neal Miller (Institute for Law and Justice), Peter Ohlhausen (Ohlhausen Research, Inc.) 2000 Bureau of Justice Assistance This national compendium of standards helps assess the adequacy or appropriateness of indigent defense services: administration of defense systems; attorney performance; capital case representation; appellate representation; and juvenile justice defense.
BJS Special Report: Defense Counsel in Criminal Cases (NCJ 179023) Caroline Wolf Harlow (U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics) 2000 Bureau of Justice Statistics This report examines issues of legal representation for defendants in Federal district court and large state courts, and inmates in local jails and Federal and State prison. It briefly describes types of publicly financed programs available to both Federal and local defendants.
BJA Monograph: Contracting for Indigent Defense Services: A Special Report (NCJ 181160) Robert L. Spangenberg, Marea L. Beeman, David J. Carroll, David Freedman, Evelyn Pan, David J. Newhouse, and Dorothy Chan (The Spangenberg Group) 2000 Bureau of Justice Assistance Written for individuals in the justice system who are using, considering or implementing an indigent defense contract system, this report presents the major judicial and legislative attempts to deal with those systems, examines the best and worst features of contract systems and discusses the national standards that govern contract systems.
National Defender Leadership Project - Ultimate Advocacy: A Defenderís Guide to Asset-Based Management (NCJ 183510) Nancy Vorsanger, Kirsten Levingston, Dara Orenstein (Vera Institute of Justice) 2000 Bureau of Justice Assistance This booklet describes the role of defender offices in guiding indigent clients to health and social services for productive lives, through an approach called "asset-based management."
The Fair Defense Report: Findings and Recommendations on Indigent Defense Practices in Texas Texas Appleseed Fair Defense Project 2000 Bureau of Justice Assistance This study of county-level indigent defense practices in Texas compares and evaluates the many different indigent defense systems across the state, to reveal their structural weaknesses and identify their strengths.
Indigent Defense Services in the State of Nevada: Findings & Recommendations David J. Carroll, Robert L. Spangenberg, Rangita de Silva-de Alwis, Jaime Bailey (The Spangenberg Group) 2000 Bureau of Justice Assistance This report details serious problems with the current provision of indigent defense services in Nevada and takes a national perspective to provides its ultimate findings/recommendations.
BJS Bulletin: Indigent Defense Services in Large Counties, 1999 (NCJ 184932) Carol J. Defrances and Marika F. X. Litras (U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics) 1999 Bureau of Justice Statistics This bulletin presents findings from the National Survey of Indigent Defense Systems, 1999. The report details the methods by which indigent criminal defense is delivered in the Nation's 100 most populous counties. It also compares the operating expenditures, staffing, and caseloads of the different types of indigent defense services used in those counties
National Defender Leadership Project - Ultimate Advocacy: A Defenderís Guide to Reflective Practice (NCJ 183511) Ellen Schall and Nancy Vorsanger (Vera Institute of Justice) 1999 Bureau of Justice Assistance This booklet advises that by developing a reflective practice that critiques defender operations and styles, a defender office can build a broader repertoire of responses that counters the temptation to repeat familiar but ineffective patterns
National Defender Leadership Project - Ultimate Advocacy: A Defenderís Guide to Strategic Management (NCJ 183512) Nancy Vorsanger, Kirsten D. Levingston and Dara Orenstein (Vera Institute of Justice ) 1999 Bureau of Justice Assistance This booklet advises that there are three major issues to be considered before making a leadership decision: value, legitimacy and support, and operational capacity.
BJA Monograph: Indigent Defense and Technology: A Progress Report (NCJ 179003) Robert L. Spangenberg, Marea L. Beeman, David J. Carroll, David Freedman, Evelyn Pan, David J. Newhouse and Dorothy Chan (The Spangenberg Group) 1999 Bureau of Justice Assistance This report looks at how technology is changing the way attorneys and staff work in public defender offices.
Improving Criminal Justice Systems Through Expanded Strategies and Innovative Collaborations: Report of the National Symposium on Indigent Defense (February 25-26, 1999) (NCJ 181344) Richard J. Wilson (Washington College of Law at American University); Scott Wallace (National Legal Aid & Defender Association); Patricia Puritz (American Bar Association Juvenile Justice Center) 1999 Bureau of Justice Assistance This report presents the outcomes of the National Symposium on Indigent Defense (held February 25-26, 1999), which was convened by the U.S. Justice Department to explore ways in which the leaders of indigent defense systems can effectively forge alliances, build and strengthen innovative partnerships, and otherwise collaborate in ways that enhance the representation of indigent criminal defendants.
BJA Bulletin: Key Elements of Successful Adjudication Partnerships (NCJ 173949) Jane Nady Sigmon and M. Elaine Nugent (American Prosecutors Research Institute); John Goerdt (National Center for State Courts); Scott Wallace (National Legal Aid & Defender Association) 1999 Bureau of Justice Assistance Adjudication partnerships entail collaborative efforts among prosecutors, public defenders, and courts in the adjudication process. This report features profiles of 8 partnerships, checklist, list of organizations from which to obtain more information, and 15 references.
Improving State and Local Criminal Justice Systems: A Report on How Public Defenders, Prosecutors, and Other Criminal Justice System Practitioners Are Collaborating Across the Country (NCJ 173391) Robert L. Spangenberg and Marea L. Beeman (The Spangenberg Group for the American Bar Association) 1998 Bureau of Justice Assistance The initiatives discussed in this report represent practical attempts to make the best use of limited criminal justice system resources by implementing projects that depend on interagency planning.