BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
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Data Collection: National Survey of Indigent Defense Systems
Status: Active
Latest data available: 2000

Conducted during 1999-2000, this survey represented the first systematic study of indigent criminal defense services by BJS since the 1980s. The study collected indigent criminal defense data at the trial level for 1) the 100 most populous counties in the United States, 2) 197 counties outside of the 100 most populous counties, and 3) states that entirely funded criminal indigent defense services. Information obtained includes the number of program staff, program expenditures, and types of cases received by indigent criminal defense programs.

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Collection Period


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County Survey
1999 PDF (36K)
Program Survey
1999 PDF (96K)
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The universe for this study consisted of indigent criminal defense programs that handled felony cases at the trial level in the 100 most populous counties in the United States. These counties were selected with certainty from a list of approximately 3,100 counties and independent cities in the United States ranked according to 1997 intercensal population estimates.

Once the 100 largest counties were selected, the indigent criminal defense programs and county officials in these counties were identified.

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Publications & Products

The following publications and products were generated by BJS using data from this collection.

State-Funded Indigent Defense Services, 1999 Presents findings from data collected as part of the 1999 National Survey of Indigent Defense Systems in the 21 States where the State government provides virtually all of the funding for indigent defense services.
  PDF (417K) | ASCII file (22K) | ZIP Format (Spreadsheet 23K) | Codebooks and Datasets

Indigent Defense Services in Large Counties, 1999 Describes the methods by which criminal indigent defense is delivered in the Nation's 100 most populous counties.
  Press Release | PDF (153K) | ASCII file (36K) | Spreadsheet (Zip format 18K) | Codebooks and Datasets | To order paper version

Indigent Defense This report of presented selected findings drawn from various BJS surveys contains information related to the indigent defense for criminal defendants.
  PDF (50K) | ASCII file (12K) | Codebooks and Datasets

Criminal Defense Systems - A National Survey A survey conducted in 1982 produced national baseline data on the types of public defense systems, their funding sources, their costs, and their caseloads.

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Related Topics

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