skip navigation

Add your conference to our Justice Events calendar


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the NCJRS Abstracts Database. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

  NCJ Number: NCJ 205023   Add to Shopping cart   Find in a Library
  Title: Implementation and Impact of Indigent Defense Standards, December 2003
  Document URL: PDF 
  Author(s): Scott Wallace ; David Carroll
  Corporate Author: National Legal Aid and Defender Assoc
United States of America
  Date Published: 12/2003
  Page Count: 93
  Annotation: This document discusses the impact of indigent defense standards in assessing the need for standardization of this constitutionally mandated governmental service.
  Abstract: All criminal defendants in the United States facing charges that might result in incarceration are constitutionally entitled to legal representation at government expense if they cannot afford to pay a private lawyer. About four out of five defendants qualify for such representation. Standards were developed about three decades ago to make indigent services more uniform, effective, and efficient. Versions of these standards have been implemented to varying degrees in many State and local jurisdictions, and have been compiled, catalogued, and condensed, but their effectiveness has never been studied. This research examined the impact of indigent defense standards through 2 basic means: a 50-State survey, and more detailed verification and analysis of impacts, correlated with manner of implementation, in 4 geographically diverse jurisdictions using standards in 4 different ways. The results showed that the implementation of indigent defense standards can have numerous and varied impacts for both indigent defense and the criminal justice system. Some of these impacts are keeping defender workloads manageable, adequate defender-office staffing, more uniform quality of public defense services, and stratification of attorneys according to levels of skill, training, and experience. The impacts are overwhelmingly viewed as positive not only by indigent defense agencies, but by the judiciary, prosecutors, legislative authorities, and funding agencies. The results also showed that the extent of the positive impacts was dependent upon the manner and extent of their enforcement. 6 appendices
  Main Term(s): Public defenders ; Standards implementation
  Index Term(s): Defense services ; Defense counsel ; Court appointed counsel ; Effectiveness ; Attorneys ; Court standards ; NIJ grant-related documents
  Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
  Grant Number: 99-IJ-CX-0049
  Sale Source: National Legal Aid and Defender Assoc
1140 Connecticut Avenue NW
Suite 900
Washington, DC 20036
United States of America
  Type: Report (Study/Research)
  Country: United States of America
  Language: English
  Note: Dataset may be archived by the NIJ Data Resources Program at the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data
  To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.