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Announcing IDRA's 2020 Virtual Conference

We are excited to announce that our Virtual Conference will take place November 11-13, 2020 from 12.00 p.m.-5.00 p.m. ET.  Since 2014, IDRA has organized an annual meeting on the latest thinking on research and data in indigent defense.  This year, our seventh annual gathering will be virtual! We expect to schedule three 80 minute panels on each day, for a total of nine panels. We are also hoping to keep our Zoom room open for informal gatherings, breakouts, and conversations until 6.00 p.m. ET each day.  Go to 2020conference.indigentdefenseresearch.org to see the complete schedule. We hope to "see" as many of you there as possible!
Recent posts

Notable Recent Publications - November, 2020

Notable Recent Publications features the latest empirical research and data related to indigent defense. Should you have suggestions, ideas for work that should be included, or trouble accessing any of the articles featured, please write to albdavies@smu.edu . Articles Andrew Davies, Victoria Smiegocki and Hannah Hall, The Court is in Recession: On the Implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic for Indigent Defense Spending. Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law. "What is the likely effect of the recession brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic on indigent defense budgets in the United States? To look forward, we look backward. We examine data on county-level spending on indigent defense in Texas during the Great Recession of 2007-2009. Redistributive policies – those which use tax payer funds to support individuals who themselves pay little or no tax – are particularly susceptible to cuts during times of fiscal stress. Yet our analysis shows indigent defense policy, measured in terms of

Notable Recent Publications - October 2020

Notable Recent Publications features the latest empirical research and data related to indigent defense. Should you have suggestions, ideas for work that should be included, or trouble accessing any of the articles featured, please write to albdavies@smu.edu . Articles   Pamela Metzger, Criminal (Dis)Appearance , George Washington Law Review. "Across the United States, thousands of newly-arrested people disappear. They languish behind bars for days, weeks – or even months – without ever seeing a judge or an attorney. Yet, the Supreme Court requires more constitutional process for the seizure “of a refrigerator, . . . temporary suspension of a public school student, or . . . suspension of a driver’s license,” than it does for a person who has just been arrested and detained. A new arrestee has no clearly-established constitutional right to a prompt initial appearance procedure. As a result, there is no constitutional doctrine that guarantees her the right to appear promptly be

Notable Recent Publications - September 2020

Notable Recent Publications features the latest empirical research and data related to indigent defense. Should you have suggestions, ideas for work that should be included, or trouble accessing any of the articles featured, please write to albdavies@smu.edu . Articles Matthew Clair, " Being a Disadvantaged Criminal Defendant: Mistrust and Resistance in Attorney-Client Interactions " Social Forces. "Researchers have documented the power of legal officials to administer sanctions, from arrest to court surveillance and incarceration. How do those subject to punishment interact with officials and attempt to subvert their power? Drawing on interviews and ethnographic observations among 63 criminal defendants and 42 legal officials in the Boston-area court system, this article considers how socioeconomically and racially disadvantaged defendants interact with their defense attorneys, and with what consequences. Given racialized and classed constraints, many dis

Notable recent publications - August 2020

Notable Recent Publications features the latest empirical research and data related to indigent defense. Should you have suggestions, ideas for work that should be included, or trouble accessing any of the articles featured, please write to albdavies@smu.edu . Books Sara Mayeux, Free Justice: A History of the Public Defender in Twentieth Century America . University of North Carolina Press. [From the website:] "[T]he modern American public defender has a surprisingly contentious history--one that offers insights not only about the "carceral state," but also about the contours and compromises of twentieth-century liberalism... First gaining appeal amidst the Progressive Era fervor for court reform, the public defender idea was swiftly quashed by elite corporate lawyers who believed the legal profession should remain independent from the state... Gideon v. Wainwright enshrined the right to counsel into law and the legal profession mobilized to expand the ranks of p

Announcing the publication of "New Developments in Public Defense Research," a special issue of Criminal Justice Policy Review.

IDRA is delighted to announce the publication of its third collection of original empirical research into indigent defense systems. Titled New Developments in Public Defense Research , the volume appears in the June, 2020, issue of Criminal Justice Policy Review . It is co-edited by Dr. Andrew Davies (Deason Criminal Justice Reform Center, Southern Methodist University) and Professor Janet Moore (University of Cincinnati College of Law). In 2015, Davies and Moore founded the Indigent Defense Research Association to promote research into the improvement of these systems. “Scientific study of indigent defense has the potential to improve and advance these services which are so critical to our criminal legal system,” said Davies. “As far as we know, this is the first volume of a peer-reviewed academic journal that has ever been dedicated exclusively to indigent defense.” Added Moore, “Empirical research on public defense has an especially important role to play in a time of renewed

Forthcoming webinars in Summer, 2020

IDRA hosts montly meetings to discuss issues of importance to the community. In Summer, 2020, these meetings will take the form of three presentations by researchers in our field about their latest work. To join any of these discussions, please reach out to albdavies@smu.edu and we will let you know how! July 10, 2PM ET: Neel Sukhatme & Jay Jenkins. Pay to Play? Campaign Finance and the Incentive Gap in the Sixth Amendment's Right to Counsel. Prof. Sukhatme and Mr. Jenkins’ will discuss their research recently highlighted by Adam Liptak in the New York Times ( Campaign Funds for Judges Warp Criminal Justice, Study Finds ). Their recent Duke Law Journal article, " Pay to Play? Campaign Finance and the Incentive Gap in the Sixth Amendment's Right to Counsel " examines the relationship between attorney contributions to judicial campaigns and indigent defense appointments and income of those attorneys. It has a number of challenging findings and suggests “campaig