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with Justice System Journal
Deadline: May 15, 2020
Justice for All:
Empirical Research on Indigent Defense
Empirical researchers have turned their attention to indigent defense in new ways in the last several years. Their work has revealed new insights into the nature and importance of indigent defense systems and attorneys. It has generated evidence of the impact defense services can have, expanded theoretical understanding, and occasionally called core assumptions into question. This new scholarship has generated fresh debate about the value of defenders to criminal legal systems, the scope and purpose of their work, and whether they counteract or reproduce oppressive aspects of those systems.
Authors seeking to participate in these debates are strongly encouraged to consider submitting their work for this Special Issue. Submissions of original empirical work on any topic concerning criminal defense services for those unable to afford counsel will be considered. In keeping with the theoretical and methodological diversity of the field, the editors welcome work utilizing a range of methodologies, and work which examines issues at the a local, state, national, or even international level.
Possible topics for manuscripts include, but are not limited, to:
- Explorations and explanations of how defense policy is made across places or over time (including factors affecting resources given to defense, defense/prosecution resource disparities, policies restricting or extending access to defense counsel, etc.)
- Evaluations of programs and policies in defense services, and comparisons of program alternatives
- Examinations of the impacts of caseloads, attorney training, or other resources on defense services
- Analyses of the importance of contextual factors such as rurality, demographic diversity, political circumstances, or courtroom dynamics, for defense services
- Research on the impact of defense services themselves on local legal culture and local communities, including through participation in criminal legal system reform initiatives
- Studies which seek to improve understanding of the experiences of people who need public defense, their lawyers, and other members of the legal team (e.g., investigators, social workers, defense system managers)
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