Page 109 - Ad Hoc Report June 2018
P. 109

 do it, and to be compared to court reporters and probation officers, and to assume that our tasks can fit into widgets, was devastating to morale.”240 Despite defender misgivings about the study, the defender community was lauded as a “model of cooperation” for their participation in it.241
While the study itself may have created tension between defenders and the judiciary structure, it also unequivocally supported what defenders had been repeatedly asserting: rather than being an account out of control, their program was understaffed. The chair of the JRC told the Committee that, “despite early con- cerns that a rigorous, statistically-driven work measurement study would lead to
a recommendation...for a reduction of the staffing formula, actually the opposite happened. We ended up with a recommendation that was approved by the Judicial Resources Committee and approved then by the Conference for an increase in 8.6 percent across the board for the defender community.”242
Lack of Flexibility
While there were positive results to the study, defenders highlighted for the Committee that there are two main problems with the staffing formulas and work measurement data: the staffing formulas, while designed for stability, are not flexi- ble enough for a program that is reactive to the decisions of another branch of gov- ernment, and the staffing and weight measures don’t take into account the many forms of representations that defenders engage in for their clients.
Defenders told the Committee that the inflexibility of the staffing formulas makes it difficult to respond to new laws, prosecutorial initiatives, or Supreme Court rulings (see, e.g., Johnson v. United States above and California – Proposition 66 below in Chapter 9). The rigid application of the current formula, which averages work measurement findings over five years, “removes needed flexibility from the DSC that has the institutional experience and responsibility to support the defenders unique mission. Defenders need to be able to respond to changes in prosecution policies or court initiatives in different areas of the country.”243 As one district judge pointed out, the “real problem, I think, is that everything about CJA, everything about defender services, is by its nature reactive. It depends on how many cases are filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.”244 Although the work measurement process may have been “well intentioned and successfully performed thanks to both AO staff and the defenders themselves,” it does not adequately address this quality of defenders’ work.245
For example, in 2014, the United States Sentencing Commission voted to
240 MarjorieMeyers,FPD,S.D.Tex.,PublicHearing—Birmingham,Ala.,Panel6,Tr.,at32–33. 241 ChiefJudgeLawrenceStengel,E.D.Pa.,PublicHearing—Philadelphia,Pa.,Panel8,Tr.,at8. 242 ChiefJudgeLawrenceStengel,E.D.Pa.,PublicHearing—Philadelphia,Pa.,Panel8,Tr.,at7. 243 ChiefJudgeCatherineBlake,D.Md.,PublicHearing—Philadelphia,Pa.,Panel1,Tr.,at4. 244 JudgeRosannaPeterson,E.D.Wash.,PublicHearing—Portland,Or.,Panel3,Tr.,at36.
245 ChiefJudgeCatherineBlake,D.Md.,PublicHearing—Philadelphia,Pa.,Panel1,Tr.,at4.
No recommendation presented herein represents
the policy of the Judicial Conference of the United 2 0 1 7 R E P O R T O F T H E A D H O C C O M M I T T E E T O R E V I E W T H E C R I M I N A L J U S T I C E A C T 65
 States unless approved by the Conference itself.
 






















































































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