As part of its public defense reform program, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) commissioned the Sixth Amendment Center to conduct an independent study of the state of public defense in Indiana and to produce this report -- The Right to Counsel in Indiana: Evaluation of Trial level Indigent Defense Services.
This report and recommendations were prepared primarily to aid in the work of the Indiana Indigent Defense Study Advisory Committee (IDSAC), which is composed of representatives from the Indiana Supreme Court, Legislature, State Bar Association, Public Defender Commission, Public Defender Council, Prosecuting Attorneys Council, Judges Association, and the Indiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
In Indiana, counties are responsible in the first instance to fund and administer public defense services. This report reveals numerous findings of concern, including that Indiana has no mechanism to ensure that its constitutional obligation to provide effective counsel to the poor is met in a wide variety of contexts. The reports explores public defense in Indiana in great detail and offers several important recommendations to address its deficiencies.
Read the Report (PDF) | Read the Executive Summary (PDF)
News of Interest
- NACDL News Release
- "Report: Indiana fails to provide consistent indigent defense," by Dave Stafford, The Indiana Lawyer, October 24, 2016
- "Indiana's public defender system flawed, study says," by Fatima Hussein, IndyStar, October 24, 2016
- "Study: Indiana's Public Defender System Underfunded, Inadequate," by Barbara Brosher, Indiana Public Media, October 25, 2016
- "Koch Supports Report Calling for Reforms to Indiana's Public Defense Services," by Fix Criminal Justice, Medium, October 24, 2016
- "Indiana fails the Sixth Amendment," by Radley Balko, 'The Watch' Blog, The Washington Post, October 25, 2016
- "New report critical of Indiana's indigent defense," by Dave Stafford, The Indiana Lawyer, November 2, 2016
- "Report calls for Indiana overhaul of public defender system," by Virginia Black, South Bend Tribune, December 15, 2016
- "Attorneys Ask Ind. Supreme Court To Fix Public Defender System," by Barbara Brosher, WFYI, December 15, 2016
- "Petition to Supreme Court seeks statewide public defender system," by Dave Stafford, The Indiana Lawyer, December 15, 2016
- "Attorneys petition Indiana Supreme Court to write public defender rules," by Fatima Hussein, IndyStar, December 15, 2016
- "Group files petition seeking changes to Indiana public defender system," WTHR, December 15, 2016