Public Defense Data

NYSDA contracts with New York State to provide technical, automation, research and support services to county and state governments. NYSDA is an affiliate organization of the New York State Association of Counties. NYSDA's Backup Center provides government officials with assistance on criminal justice and public defense issues, enabling counties to better evaluate the quality of their defense systems and the cost effective allocation of federal, state and county defense dollars. NYSDA's Social Science Research Unit is the only state level source of information for counties on public defender, assigned counsel and legal aid systems.

The Backup Center maintains a clearinghouse of information essential to policy makers on issues such as alternatives to incarceration, assigned counsel fees, early entry of counsel, eligibility, expert services, funding, investigative services, monitoring, quality of representation, and training. Counties contact the Backup Center for:

    » Assistance in designing and maintaining public defender, legal aid and assigned counsel systems
    » Statistical data and analyses of public defense systems
    » Budget and caseload data
    » Comparative salary data
    » Performance guidelines and standards
    » Attorney qualifications National and professional standards
    » Methods to avoid municipal liability information on case developments
    » Training programs

Assessment of County Public Defense Systems
NYSDA's Backup Center provides free technical assistance to counties and makes recommendations to legislative bodies. NYSDA site visits have produced technical studies, model forms and other reports helpful to counties. For information about the various defense systems in place around New York, consult NYSDA's Structure of Public Defense Systems in New York State (PDF).

Report on Eligibility
NYSDA completed a study of eligibility practices for appointed counsel entitled Determining Eligibility for Appointed Counsel in New York State: A Report from the Public Defense Backup Center (1994). A copy of the full report with appendices for each county is available from the Backup Center. The Backup Center is presently working with counties to develop model eligibility procedures which will assure fiscal and quality controls on the delivery of services.