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August 23, 2023

Principle 9: Essential Components of Effective Representation

Public Defense Providers should adopt a client-centered approach to representation based around understanding a client's needs and working with them to achieve their goals. Public Defense Providers should have the assistance of investigators, social workers, mitigation specialists, experts, and other specialized professionals necessary to meet public defense needs. Such services should be provided and controlled by Public Defense Providers. Additional contingency funding should be made available to support access to these services as needed. Public Defense Providers should address civil and non-legal issues that are relevant to their clients' cases. Public Defense Providers can offer direct assistance with such issues or establish collaborations with, or provide referrals to civil legal services organizations, social services providers, and other lawyers and non-lawyer professionals.