A Blueprint for Reforming Indigent Defense


America's indigent defense systems can be improved through the implementation of multiple new approaches and innovations, argues a new report from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

The report, which documents a day-long conference of 18 leading innovators in the indigent defense field, is intended to provide a blueprint for reform. Prepared by Professor Joel M. Schumm of the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, the report's recommendations include: reclassification and diversion, which could help reduce the number of cases entering the system, the delivery of services, including indigent defense commissions and collaboration among actors both inside and outside the criminal justice system.

The report also highlights the critical role public and private bars can play in advocating for indigent defense reforms, specifically by “training… to build a new generation of defense leaders who will foster the types of innovations discussed throughout this report.”

Read the report HERE.

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