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NCJ Number: 65546 Find in a Library
Title: OVERVIEW OF RECENT PROPOSALS REGARDING THE PROVISION OF INDIGENT CRIMINAL DEFENSE SERVICES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Author(s): J SHORTALL
Corporate Author: American University
Law Institute Criminal Courts Technical Assistance Project
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 37
Sponsoring Agency: American University
Washington, DC 20015
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20531
Contract Number: J-LEAA-011-78
Publication Number: TA 24A
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

American University
Law Institute Criminal Courts Technical Assistance Project
5530 Wisconsin Ave., NE
Suite 1130
Washington, DC 20015
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE PROJECT REPORT FOCUSES ON THE STATUS OF RECENT REFORM PROPOSALS REGARDING THE PROVISION OF INDIGENT CRIMINAL DEFENSE REPRESENTATION IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.
Abstract: A TOTAL OF 14 PERSONAL INTERVIEWS WERE HELD WITH INFORMED REPRESENTATIVES OF VARIOUS COMPONENTS OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM. CURRENTLY, MOST INDIGENT CRIMINAL DEFENSE SERVICES ARE PROVIDED BY PRIVATE ATTORNEYS COMPENSATED UNDER THE D.C. CRIMINAL JUSTICE ACT OF 1974. A SMALL PERCENTAGE OF CASES IS HANDLED BY THE PUBLIC DEFENDER SERVICE AND CLINICAL PROGRAMS OPERATED BY AREA LAW SCHOOLS. HOWEVER, NO AGENCY EXISTS TO COORDINATE THESE EFFORTS, OVERSEE PARTICIPATION AND COMPENSATION, OR ENSURE QUALITY REPRESENTATION BECAUSE OF LACK OF MONEY AND CONSENSUS ON IMPROVEMENT APPROACHES. AREAS OF CONCERN INCLUDE ATTORNEY COMPETENCE, EXPANSION OF THE PUBLIC DEFENDER SERVICE, AND CURRENT METHODS OF APPOINTING COUNSEL TO SPECIFIC CASES AND REMOVING ATTORNEYS FROM THE APPOINTMENT POOL. ANOTHER MAJOR PROBLEM ARISES FROM ATTORNEYS' DISSATISFACTION WITH THE PROCESSING OF COMPENSATION CLAIMS. MOREOVER, DISSATISFACTION WAS ALSO EXPRESSED WITH ATTORNEY TRAINING BECAUSE NO SYSTEMATIC ORIENTATION EXISTS FOR THIS TYPE OF PRACTICE. THE PRIMARY RECOMMENDATION SUGGESTS THAT THE FRONT-LINE AUTHORITY TO MANAGE AND OPERATE THE COUNSEL SERVICE BE REMOVED FROM JUDGES TO SOME OTHER BODY. THIS TRANSFER OF THE APPOINTMENT AND REMOVAL AND VOUCHER-APPROVAL POWER WOULD EXPEDITE THE PROCESSING OF VOUCHERS, CURTAIL JUDICIAL IDIOSYNCRACIES, AND MITIGATE THE NOT-SO-SUBTLE INFLUENCE OF THE JUDGE-APPOINTER-PAYMASTER OVER THE ATTORNEY-APPOINTEE-PAYEE IN THE PRESENTATION OF DEFENSE CASES. FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED. APPENDIXES INCLUDE A LIST OF MATERIALS REVIEWED AND PERSONS INTERVIEWED, A SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS BY THE AUSTERN-REZNECK REPORT, MEMORANDA, AND OTHER PROJECT DOCUMENTATION. (MRK)
Index Term(s): Attorney competence; Court appointed counsel; Court management; District of Columbia; Indigents; Public defenders; Services effectiveness
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65546

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