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National Symposium on Indigent Defense: Looking Back, Looking Forward, 2000-2010

February 18-19, 2010
Washington, DC

In 1999, the Department of Justice convened the National Symposium on Indigent Defense, bringing together defense attorneys, prosecutors, judges, victim advocates and legislators to explore ways that indigent defense system leaders could forge alliances, build and strengthen innovative partnerships, and otherwise collaborate to enhance the representation of indigent criminal defendants.

More than a decade later, the Department of Justice furthered the dialogue about improving the state of indigent defense in America. The National Symposium on Indigent Defense: Looking Back, Looking Forward 2000-2010 brought together officers of the court, as well as legislators and advocates.

The 2010 symposium served the dual purpose of assessing how far the country has come since the 1999 symposium and identifying critical areas for improvement moving forward. One of the primary goals of the symposium was to examine indigent defense systems by state and consider reform efforts across the country. Workshops covered vital policy issues such as reform through litigation and legislation and practical issues such as managing limited resources for indigent defense in tough economic times. Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. delivered the keynote address.

Plenary Sessions included:

  • Fulfilling the Promise of Counsel
  • Innovations in Juvenile Defense Reform
  • Indigent Defense Reform: The Many Modes of Collaboration
  • Ensuring Quality Representation
  • Strengthening Forensic Science

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Date Modified: August 16, 2012