Today More attorneys appointed More public defenders’ offices New and innovative programs
Looking Ahead: The Challenges Funding Independence Standards development Accountability
National Trends in Indigent Defense According to Spangenberg Report from 2008,per capita spending on indigent defense in the US was $14.76. Texas ranked 48 th of 50 states at $7.16. Most indigent defense systems are funded primarily by state government. Texas ranked 37 th of 50 states in the portion of funds provided by the state (12.3%).
2008 Per Capita Spending 10 Largest States (plus AL and LA)
Portion of Indigent Defense Services Funded by State
Why a Public Defender Office? Quality Cost-effective AND high quality Organized, institutional infrastructure Assign cases based on skill Access to in-house investigators and experts Efficiency and Cost-Savings Economies of scale, avoid duplication Budget predictability, savings throughout ID system Studies document lower cost per case
Why a Public Defender Office? Public Safety Increase public trust, confidence in system Improve reliability of convictions Strengthen adversarial system