News & Updates

Defending Clients in the COVID-19 Environment Survey Results and Feedback Request
April 21, 2021 | Alison Pagan

The Council on Public Defense Standards Committee is considering proposing an emergency order to help defenders and assigned counsel respond effectively to growing workloads.  The Committee has requested that public defense counsel respond to as many of these survey questions as possible, to guide the Committee in developing a proposal.

We are asking for information that will help demonstrate the effect of COVID on the backlog of open cases and identify resources needed to provide effective representation to clients.

The caseload information requested below is for Adult Felony and Misdemeanor cases.  If your case management system doesn’t allow you easily to gather this information, please indicate that, give your best estimate, and tell us what resources you would need to provide the information.

This is a follow-up to the WDA, OPD and WACDL survey and report “Defending Clients in the COVID-19 Environment: Survey Results from Private and Public Defense Counsel” which found:

“The increasing backlog of pending cases reduces defenders’ ability to provide effective representation to all clients. Cases now take longer to resolve, particularly violent offenses. Attorneys require more time to work with clients and investigate facts, and the limited availability of community resources creates further delays (e.g., treatment, licensing, family support services.”

Click here to view the report. 

Click here to take the survey.

Thank you for your time and assistance!