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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 157627 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Evaluation of Office of the State Public Defender
Author(s): D Bezruki; D Allsen; C Barkelar; H I Bensch; T Coulthart; Z Feher; D Herta
Editor(s): J Thieme
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 60
Sponsoring Agency: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau
Madison, WI 53703
Publication Number: 94-23
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America

Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau
22 E. Mifflin Street
Suite 500
Madison, WI 53703
United States of America
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Wisconsin's Office of the State Public Defender provides legal defense services to indigent persons, and representation is constitutionally guaranteed to individuals who are charged with crimes and face a potential imprisonment sentence.
Abstract: Expenditures and staffing levels have risen as the scope and volume of the Office of the State Public Defender's representation have increased. Between fiscal years 1989-1990 and 1993-1994, expenditures increased by 75.7 percent, from $33.8 to $59.4 million. Similarly, staffing levels increased by 43.9 percent, from 360 to 518 positions. Because expenditure increases have caused concern about whether program growth can be managed, cases assigned to the Office of the State Public Defender were analyzed to determine if improved management efforts could help control increasing costs. The evaluation found efforts to determine indigence were undermined by several factors, resulting in about 12 percent of cases with gross incomes exceeding indigence guidelines. Other problems involved quality, efficiency, and billing fraud. It was determined that a case management system needs to be established to record attorney time spent on each case and to classify the type of work done. Other recommendations encompass improving efficiency, minimizing cost increases, and recouping defense costs. The focus of recommendations is on verifying indigence claims, initiating collection efforts against clients whose financial situation improves, minimizing potential billing fraud, and reviewing the quality and efficiency of indigent representation. An appendix contains a response to the evaluation by Wisconsin's Office of the State Public Defender. 11 tables
Main Term(s): Court costs
Index Term(s): Cost analysis; Court appointed counsel; Defense counsel; Defense services; Indigents; Legal aid services; Public defenders; Wisconsin
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=157627

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