Indiana Task Force on Public Defense
Annoucement 8-31-18 - The Indiana Task Force on Public Defense has released their full report.
To read the Executive Summary, please click here.
To read the full report, please click here.
About the Task Force
A detailed report on Indiana’s public defense system issued last fall by the Sixth Amendment Center of Boston, Massachusetts has raised serious concerns about the way in which defense services are delivered in Indiana. A second report, the result of a federal planning grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), called into question how youth in the delinquency system in Indiana are represented, and in some cases, not represented. The recent, dramatic increase in our state’s CHINS and TPR filings have created greater demand for representation and placed a strain on many of our local defender systems and county budgets. In response, these issues and others will be the focus on a new task force on public defense created by the Indiana Public Defender Commission.
The Commission is tasked with making recommendations regarding the provision of indigent defense in Indiana, and for this reason has taken the lead to assemble a diverse group of leaders to further study these concerns and develop findings and recommendations. The Indiana Task Force on Public Defense is chaired by the Honorable Judge John Tinder, and includes 16 other members from all three branches of government, as well as various other stakeholder groups. Judge Tinder assumed leadership of the group after the recent unexpected death of Judge Larry McKinney. The group will conduct a series of meetings over the next year. It will also invite public comment and intends to hold a series of hearings around the state.
The Commission responds to Task Force report at August 22nd meeting
Click here to read an annoucement of legislative priorities by the Public Defender Commission, launching the 2019 Justice Reform Initiative.
Public input period is closed
The public input period has closed for the Task Force.
Read Recent Editorial by Task Force Member
View an editorial by Executive Director of the Indiana Public Defender about the importance of public defenders as defenders of liberty here.
Journal-Gazette publishes Opinion Piece on Task Force
Read the opinion piece "A needed look at Indiana's legal aid" here.
Task force announces new chair after passing of Judge McKinney
Former Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judge John Tinder announced that he has accepted the invitation of the Commission to step into the role of chair to replace Judge Larry McKinney. In part, it is a tribute to his friend and colleague with whom he shared the bench for many years. Read the full press release here.
The Indiana Task Force on Public Defense hosted a listening tour at locations around the State where they invited everyone to provide input at any of the following locations. As space at each location was limited to 50 participants, registration was required, and if you were unable to provide input on these dates, special arrangements were made to hear people's thoughts.
2/9/18 – Indianapolis
- Location: Indiana Government Center, Conference Rooms 4 & 5
- Time of Event: 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.
2/15/18 – Fort Wayne
- Location: Allen County Public Library Main Branch
- Time of Event: 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
3/20/18 – Evansville
- Location: Vanderburgh County Public Library
- Time of Event: 5:00 – 7:30 p.m.
- Read the transcript here.
3/22/18 – Clark County
- Location: Clark County Cooperative Service
- Time of Event: 5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
- Read the transcript of the meeting here.
3/27/18 – Valparaiso
- Location: Valparaiso Law School
- Time of Event: Cancelled
- Register here: Cancelled
3/31/18 – Gary
- Location: Kennedy Branch Library
- Time of Event: 12:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. CDT
The Task Force sought input from a variety of stakeholders regarding their experience with public defense in Indiana as well as public comments.
- May 30, 2018, The Indiana Lawyer. "Justices won't hear Johnson County Public Defender suit?"
- May 16, 2018, The Indiana Lawyer. "Among public defenders, cases rise but funding lags."
- Feburary 19, 2018, Indiana Public Media. "Number of Kids in Child Welfare System Strains Public Defenders."
- Feburary 15, 2018, The Journal-Gazette. "Crisis mentality: Indigent defense issues get needed attention."
- January 25, 2018, The Indiana Lawyer. "Public defender task force announces listening tour."
- January 8, 2018, Indiana public Media. "Appeal Planned On Lawsuit Challenging public Defender System."
- January 2, 2018, Indiana Public Media. "Court Upholds Dismissal Of Johnson Co. Public Defense Suit."
- December 13, 2017, The Indiana Lawyer. "Task force researches improving Indiana's public defender system."
- December 12, 2017, Pharos-Tribune Logansport. "Lawsuit may prompt public defender rule changes."
- December 8, 2017, The Indiana Lawyer. "COA hears challenge to Johnson County public defender system."
- October 26, 2017, The Journal-Gazette. "A needed look at Indiana's legal aid."
- September 20, 2017, TimesSentinel.com. "Former Zionsville mayor named to Indiana Task Force on Public Defense."
- March 29, 2018, New York Times. "His Clients Weren't Complaining, But the Judge Said this Lawyer Worked Too Hard."
- Minutes from the August 10, 2018 meeting. (Coming soon).
- Meeting Agenda
- Right to Counsel Services in the 50 States
- Summary of Michigan Reform Efforts
- Summary of New York reform chronology
- Indiana Task Force on Public Defense February 9th Agenda
- Juvenile Defense Subcommittee PPT
- Juvenile Defense Subcommittee Report and Recommendations for Distribution
- 10 Principles NACDL and NJDC
- Indicators of Success
- CHINS-TPR State Comparison Chart
- Meeting #4 Agenda and Materials
- October 27 Meeting Agenda and Minutes from September 8 Meeting
- October 27 Powerpoint
- Process Evaluation of the IRAS-PAT Pilot Program Implementation
- Jail Data Summary
- Task Force Press Release Announcing Judge Tinder
- September 8 Powerpoint
- September 8 Agenda
- Juvenile Defense Project Fact Sheet
- Indiana Public Defense at a Glance
Indiana's Public Defense Delivery System
- Right to Counsel in Indiana: Evaluation of Trial Level Services – Sixth Amendment Center (2016)
- Executive Summary – Sixth Amendment Center (2016)
- In Re: Request for Rule Making Concerning the Marion County Public Defender System
- Evaluation of Partial State Funding for Public Defender Services in Indiana (1986)
- Report of the Commission on Public Defenders of the Indianapolis Bar Association (1991)
- Structure and Funding for Criminal Defense of Indigents in Indiana (1974)
- Task Force Survey - Executive Summary
Indiana Law Review Volume 51, No. 1
- Will We Ever Succeed in Fufilling Gideon's Promise? - Dean Emeritus Norman Lefstein
- Case Refusal: A Duty for a Public Defender and a Remedy for All of a Public Defender's Clients - Stephen F. Hanlon
- Public Defense Litigation: An Overview - Laren Sudeall Lucas
- Public Defense Innovation in Texas - James D. Bethke, Morgan Shell
- The Right to Counsel in New York: How Reform Was Achieved After Decades of Failure - William J. Leahy
Indiana Juvenile Defense Delivery System
Indiana Post-Trial Services
- Hurrell Harrington v. State of New York
- Kuren v. Lucerne County - DOJ Statement of Interest
- N.P. v. State of Georgia - DOJ Statement of Interest
- Public Defense Expenditures - Office of Justice Programs, Department of Justice
- Tucker v. State of Idaho - DOJ Statement of Interest
- Wilbur v. City of Mount Vernon - DOJ Statement of Interest
National Standards and Links
Overall Principles of Criminal Defense Reform
- Ten Principles of a Public Defense Delivery System
- ABA Criminal Defense Standards for the Defense Function
- Standards for the Administration of Assigned Counsel Systems
- Gideon's Broken Promise: America's Continuing Quest for Equal Justice - American Bar Association
- Justice Denied: America's Continuing Neglect of Our Constitutional Right to Counsel - Report of the National Right to Counsel Committee
- Implicit Racial Attitudes of Death Penalty Lawyers - Eisenberg and Johnson
- Implicit Racial Bias in Public Defender Triage - Richardson and P. Goff
- Defense Attorney Plea Recommendations and Client Race: Does Zealous Representation Apply Equally to All? - Edkins
- National Juvenile Defense Standards, NJDC (2012)
- Ten Core Principles for Providing Quality Delinquency Representation Through Public Defense Delivery Systems, National Juvenile Defender Center & National Legal Aid and Defender Association (2008)
Standards for Parent Representation
- ABA Standards of Practice for Attorneys Representing Parents in Abuse and Neglect Cases
- Indicators for Success for Parent Representation – American Bar Association
- High Quality Legal Representation for All Parties in Child Welfare Proceedings, Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Guidance Memo
- ABA National Project to Improve Representation for Parents
- Timely Permanency or Unnecessary Removal?: Tips for Advocates for Children Who Spend Less Than 30 Days in Foster Care
Public Defender Caseloads
- Securing Reasonable Caseloads - Full Book
- Securing Reasonable Caseloads - Executive Summary
- Eight Guidelines of Public Defense Related to Excessive Workloads
Other State Evaluations
- Denial of the Right to Counsel in Misdemeanor Cases: Court Watching in Nashville, Tennessee
- NLADA Report - Michigan
- Sixth Amendment Center - Mississippi Evaluation
International Standards and Links
- United Nations Principles and Guidelines on Access to Legal Aid in Criminal Justice Systems
- Letter from the Mexican Consulate re: Public Defenders and access to interpreters
Judge John Daniel Tinder, Chair
Roderick E. Bohannan
David Bottorff, Executive Director
Dr. Jeff Papa
Senator Rodric Bray
Rep. Gregory W. Porter
Judge Vicki Carmichael
Professor Joel Schumm
Honorable Mary Ellen Diekhoff
Judge Mary Willis
Andrea D. Lyon
|Justice Christopher M. Goff|
Indiana Supreme Court
Stephen P. Luce
Joseph R. Heerens
Indiana Public Defender Council
|Task Force Staff:|
Kim Tandy, Technical Advisor
Kathleen Casey, Staff Attorney
Public Defender Commission
Advisors to Task Force:
Professor and Dean Emeritus Norm Lefstein
Judge Carr Darden