NACDL News: NACDL Issues Report on Public Defense Crisis in Louisiana

With support from the Foundation for Criminal Justice (FCJ), on March 2 NACDL released State of Crisis: Chronic Neglect and Underfunding for Louisiana’s Public Defense System, by Andrea M. Marsh, Lecturer at the University of Texas School of Law. NACDL and its Public Defense Committee commissioned this report “to assess the root causes of perhaps the most prolonged and severe public defense crisis in the nation.” Those causes include inadequate and unstable funding mechanisms that triggered well-publicized waitlists for public defense services, as well as less-publicized but chronic failures to safeguard the independence of the defense function and to sustain a public defense system capable of delivering legal services that meet constitutional and professional standards.