Beginning October 1, 2013, American University, in partnership with the National Legal Aid and Defender Association (NLADA) and with the support of the Bureau of Justice Assistance, initiated a project to provide technical assistance to public defense providers to promote their enhanced ability to adhere to the ABA Ten Principles of a Public Defense Delivery System.
The project launched its services with a national survey of public defense providers to obtain their perspectives on the degree to which they are able to adhere to each of the Principles, including selected "benchmarks" associated with each of the Principles, obstacles encountered in adhering to the Principles, promising practices they have developed, and areas for which technical assistance would be useful. The survey responses, coupled with other relevant information relating to the challenges public defense providers are addressing will provide the foundation for developing a multi-pronged plan for project's technical assistance services. These services will focus on addressing common issues of current import to public defense providers in terms of being able to adhere to each of the Ten Principles as well as promoting the sharing of information on exemplary practices providers have developed. The project's services will include:
Facilitated listserv discussions and other mechanisms to promote information exchange and networking;
Interactive web meetings to promote discussion among defense providers on issues of current import;
Compilations of exemplary practices, sample forms, and other resources developed by public defense providers;
Fact Sheets/Discussion Summaries on issues of current import;
Expert consultation on urgent issues through web meetings and other forums;