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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 126138 Find in a Library
Title: Indigent Defense in Washington State: 1990 Report of the Indigent Defense Task Force
Corporate Author: 1206 S Quince Street
Washington State Office of the
Administrator for the Courts
United States of America
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 58
Sale Source: 1206 S Quince Street
Washington State Office of the
Administrator for the Courts
Mail Stop EZ-11
Olympia, WA 98504
United States of America
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Washington's Indigent Defense Task Force investigates the State's system for providing representation to defendants in criminal cases where the right to counsel applies.
Abstract: In 1988, the task force reviewed defense services in trial courts. It determined that Washington had the highest indigency rate in the nation, almost double the national average. Escalating defense costs and steadily increasing caseloads are of concern throughout the State. Many attorneys providing defense services handle caseloads substantially above those recommended by the Washington Defender Association and adopted by the State Bar Association. Few counties and municipalities have uniformly applied standards on service eligibility or defender caseloads. During 1990, the task force was directed to focus on appellate defense services and on alternative methods of funding and providing trial defense services. It concludes that an appropriate indigent defense system can be maintained only through State payment of 50 percent of the costs of providing defense services in trial courts. Reimbursement to local governments should be contingent on local implementation of and compliance with 1989 indigency legislation and on compliance with data collection efforts established to monitor Washington's indigent defense program. An alternative method of delivering appellate services should also be considered. Supplemental information on State indigency legislation and the indigent defense system is appended.
Main Term(s): Defense counsel; Indigents
Index Term(s): Court appointed counsel; Right to counsel; Trial courts; Washington
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