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Publication Indigent Defense

Steven K. Smith, Ph.D., Carol J. DeFrances, Bureau of Justice Statistics

February 1, 1996    NCJ 158909

This report presents selected findings drawn from various BJS surveys containing information related to the indigent defense for criminal defendants. Twenty-eight percent of State court prosecutors reported in 1992 that their jurisdiction used public defender programs exclusively to provide indigent counsel. In 1990, State and local governments spent approximately $1.3 billion on public defender services. In 1979, this figure was about $300 million. In constant 1990 dollars, State and local expenditures doubled for public defense from 1979 to 1990. About three-fourths of the inmates in State prisons and about half of those in Federal prisons in 1991 received publicly-provided legal counsel for the offense for which they were serving time.

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National Survey of Indigent Defense Systems, 1999-2000

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