Introduction to Special Issue: New Developments in Public Defense Research

AuthorAndrew L. B. Davies,Janet Moore
Published date01 July 2020
Date01 July 2020
Subject MatterIntroduction
Criminal Justice Policy Review
2020, Vol. 31(6) 791 –799
© The Author(s) 2020
Article reuse guidelines:
DOI: 10.1177/0887403420921228
Introduction to Special Issue:
New Developments in Public
Defense Research
Janet Moore1 and Andrew L. B. Davies2
This special issue focuses on interdisciplinary research in public defense. Seven papers
represent a diverse group of scholars in an understudied field. Two overarching
themes emerge. The first theme, “System Interventions: Evaluating Programs and
Identifying Opportunities,” includes three studies of innovative policies and practices.
Two evaluate new resource injections that support, respectively, social work-initiated
holistic defense and counsel at first appearance. The third examines state sentencing
schemes to identify opportunities for emphasizing defendant assets instead of
deficits. The second theme, “Understanding Decision Makers,” includes four papers
drawing on qualitative data regarding juvenile resentencing and reentry, defendant
views of attorney–client communication, defender motivations for remaining in the
profession, and manager perspectives on likely effects of caseload reductions. As a
collection, these papers bridge gaps between theory and practice, offer new insight
into public defense as a critical component of criminal legal systems, and identify new
avenues for future research.
public defense, defense attorneys, theory development, research and policy, courts,
The Indigent Defense Research Association (IDRA) is delighted to collaborate with
Criminal Justice Policy Review (CJPR) on this special issue focused on social science
research in public defense.1 Compared with other topics in criminal justice, public
defense is underrepresented as a research subject in terms both of the volume of
1University of Cincinnati, OH, USA
2Deason Criminal Justice Reform Center, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX, USA
Corresponding Author:
Janet Moore, College of Law, University of Cincinnati, PO Box 210040, Cincinnati, OH 45221, USA.
921228CJPXXX10.1177/0887403420921228Criminal Justice Policy ReviewMoore and Davies

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