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Data Table Public Defender Offices, 2007 - Statistical Tables (Revised)

Lynn Langton, Donald J. Farole Jr., Ph.D., Bureau of Justice Statistics

November 19, 2009    NCJ 228538

Examines offices that provide representation for indigent defendants through a salaried staff of full-time or part-time attorneys who are employed as direct government employees or through a public, nonprofit organization. Public defender offices are categorized according to whether they are principally funded and administered at the state government level, county level, or through a combination of county and state government. Topics include public defender office staffing, caseloads, expenditures, and standards and guidelines used by the nearly 1,000 public defender offices found across 49 states and the District of Columbia.


  • In 2007, 964 public defender offices across the nation received nearly 6 million indigent defense cases.
  • Half of all state-based public defender offices had formal caseload limits in place in 2007.
  • Misdemeanor cases accounted for about 40% of all cases received by state-based public defender offices and about 50% of the cases received by county-based offices.

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Census of Public Defender Offices (CPDO)

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