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NACDL's National Efforts to Help the Indigent
By Kate Jones
NACDL has made it a priority to help improve ailing indigent defense
systems across the country. Its efforts have combined
coalition-building, support for legislative initiatives, and systemic
litigation. Led in these activities by an energetic Indigent Defense
Committee, NACDL continues to devote significant resources to state and
local reform campaigns.
The Indigent Defense Litigation Subcommittee and staff identify
jurisdictions where the indigent defense system is underfunded, work
with local attorneys and community leaders to determine an appropriate
reform strategy, find experts to conduct research and issues reports,
recruit large law firms to pursue systemic litigation, and work with
other national organizations in helping shape the new system to reflect
best practices from around the country.
For example, in cooperation with the National and Greater Pittsburgh
offices of the ACLU, NACDL has fought for improvements in the Venango
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