Public Defense

The Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants (SCLAID) is working to improve public defense systems nationwide.

New Report!

Privatization of Services in the Criminal Justice System

Released in June, 2020, this Report provides an comprehensive overview of the role private companies play throughout the criminal justice system and how the use of these private companies impacts low-income individuals moving through the system. The report summarizes research done by other entities, academics, journalists, and activists on specific aspects of privatization. The organization of the report tracks the sequence of a typical accused individual's experiences in the criminal justice system following arrest, demonstrating how costs compound as the individual moves through the system.

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COVID-19 Resources

The ABA Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants (SCLAID) has launched a web page that consolidates resources from across the country to assist the access to justice community in addressing the many challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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ABA Public Defense Summit

Moving Online!

Join us for the 2020 ABA Public Defense Summit: Misdemeanor Public Defense: Defending in the Wild West. Moving online! More information coming soon!

Public Education Events

Explore upcoming and past events on topics related to public defense.

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Find additional indigent criminal defense resources, including links to related ABA groups and committees, publications and standards, and other organizations devoted to improving indigent criminal defense systems.

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