U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

State-Administered Indigent Defense Systems, 2013

NCJ Number
250249
Author(s)
Suzanne M. Strong Ph.D.
Date Published
November 2016
Length
29 pages
Publication Series
Annotation
This Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report describes the methods for providing representation in criminal defense and civil, juvenile, and appeals cases in 28 States and the District of Columbia.
Abstract

Describes the methods for providing representation in criminal defense and civil, juvenile, and appeals cases in 28 states and the District of Columbia. The report details various aspects of indigent defense delivery systems by jurisdiction, such as type of litigating attorneys, cases closed, caseload standards and guidelines, funding sources, fees for representation, how indigence is determined, role of advisory boards or commission, and standards for assigned or appointed counsel. Data are from the 2013 National Survey of Indigent Defense Systems, the first census of all methods of providing indigent defense services in the United States.

  • Of the 28 states and the District of Columbia that had state-administered indigent defense systems in 2013-
    - Twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia had either governmental or nongovernmental public defenders providing representation for indigent clients.
    - Eight states and the District of Columbia required indigent clients to pay both an application fee to receive representation and recoupment for legal services provided.
    - In nine states the governor appointed the chief executives of the indigent defense delivery system.
    - Six states reported fewer than 10 full-time equivalent investigators on staff for public defender offices.
  • Between 2007 and 2013, 16 of the 22 states with state-administered public defender offices increased the number of full-time equivalent litigating attorneys.
  • In 2013, state-administered systems closed an estimated 2,696,950 criminal, appellate, civil, and juvenile cases.

Date Published: November 1, 2016