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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 73244 Find in a Library
Title: Public Defender's Bureau - Suggestions of the Committee on the Public Defender's Bureau
Corporate Author: Sweden Justitiedepartementet
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 96
Sponsoring Agency: Sweden Justitiedepartementet
Stockholm, Sweden
Format: Document
Language: Swedish
Country: Sweden
Annotation: This committee report on the public defenders' bureaus of Sweden examines the rationale and the operations of the 30 existing bureaus and makes recommendations. The focus is on financing problems and future alternatives.
Abstract: Public defenders' bureaus perform functions for clients similar to those of private law firms and, in fact, compete with these firms. Their services are available to all who can show a need. Most clients contribute to the costs of services at the conclusion of their case. Costs for criminal cases are absorbed totally by the government if the defendant is found innocent; if guilty, the defendant pays costs equal at least to the amount incurred because of the offense. The public defenders' bureau also have a duty to conduct outreach activities, especially in small towns and rural areas where persons may not be aware of the service and their legal rights to the service. The committee gave particular attention to the financial problems of the bureaus. Since their establishment in 1973, they have never collected sufficient tax revenues and client fees to cover their costs. A survey of 30 public defenders' and 30 private attorneys' offices showed that the public offices have higher expenses. The committee recommends that the bureaus cut down on the number of cases they accept, redraw jurisdiction boundaries for some bureaus, and allocate and use resources more efficiently. It also suggests granting special administrative funds for the bureaus, changing the method of calculating and paying employee benefits, allowing allocations for training personnel, and more. Appendixes contain study material and tables showing personnel totals, case totals, and cost figures for all bureaus.
Index Term(s): Financial management; Public defenders; Sweden
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