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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. Look out for the speakers and schedule to come. We hope to "see" as many of you there as possible!
Recent posts

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.
ArticlesMatthew 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 disadvant…

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.
BooksSara 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 public …

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 public…

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 “campaign financ…

Notable Recent Publications - July 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.
BooksMatthew Clair Privilege and Punishment: How Race and Class Matter in Criminal Court. Princeton University Press. For release: November 17, 2020. 
[From the website:] "Privilege and Punishment examines how racial and class inequalities are embedded in the attorney-client relationship, providing a devastating portrait of inequality and injustice within and beyond the criminal courts.... Clair shows how attempts to exercise legal rights often backfire on the poor and on working-class people of color, and how effective legal representation alone is no guarantee of justice. Superbly written and powerfully argued, Privilege and Punishment draws needed attention to the injustices that are perpetuated by the attorn…

Notable Recent Publications - June 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.
ArticlesJuan F. Gonz├ílez‐Bertomeu, "Different Ways of Losing: Public Defenders (and Private Counsel) at the Supreme Court of Argentina." 54/2, Law and Society Review, 354-390.
"Though most countries have established public defense systems to represent indigent defendants, this is far from implying their offices are in good shape. Indeed, significant variation likely exists in the systems' effectiveness, across societies and at the subnational level. Defense agencies' performance likely depends on their configuration, including their funding, their internal arrangements, and their selection and retention mechanisms. Centered on public defense in Argentina, this article compares the performance of public and …