Page 75 - Ad Hoc Report June 2018
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 and oversight of the judiciary’s resources.”115 Where the DSC had previously worked with budget analysts and defenders to determine staffing and budgets for individual offices, the change in jurisdiction removed this collaboration and effectively elimi- nated the DSC’s role in the staffing of offices.116
A member of the Judicial Resources Committee (JRC) testified before this Committee in Philadelphia, stating that in regard to defender staffing, “The Judicial Conference and Executive Committee asked the Judicial Resources Committee to take over that function so that we could have a national work measurement study and a national staffing formula.”117 This was reportedly a strategic decision to stream- line the budget process. The Judicial Resources Committee could create a staffing formula for the defender offices similar to those used in other court units in the judiciary. That formula could then be used in creating and presenting to Congress
a national budget. Indeed, a JRC member, when asked about returning jurisdiction to the DSC, told the Committee, “I don’t know that there’s a benefit for returning it to the Defender Services Committee or to the defender community once this [work measurement] study is done. I think likely the reason is that we have a history of doing staffing formulas and then revising those on a rotating 5-year basis.”118
However, the loss of DSC jurisdiction over staffing has consequences for defender offices and their ability to represent their clients. The then-chair of the Defender Services Committee’s budget subcommittee explained why the loss of jurisdiction could undermine the defense program: although the JRC may have the ability to modify and reevaluate the staffing formulas and surveys on work mea- surement every five years, that schedule and reliance on staffing formulas fails to accommodate for the specific needs of defender offices:
The work measurement study and the accompanying transfer of juris- diction over staffing to the Committee on Judicial Resources will in my view adversely impact the ability [of DSC] to respond to individual FDO office staffing needs that inevitably but predictably arise . . . As you know, the defense function is unique in that it only acts in response to prose- cutorial initiatives, initiatives that are totally out of its control. While it
is perfectly appropriate to use a staffing formula as the starting point for an FDO budget process, restricting the flexibility of a defender organi- zation to adjust staffing needs in response to an unforeseen change in
115 JCUSMemorandumfromJudgeWilliamB.TraxlertovariousJCUSCommittees,“Subject:Follow Up on Changes in Committee Jurisdiction, February 25, 2013.
116 The2013jurisdictionalchangeremovedDSC’sauthorityoverdefenderofficestaffingand compensation and placed it under the Judicial Resources Committee. Because personnel costs amount to approximately 80 percent of federal defender office budgets, many heads of offices describe the change as removing budget authority.
117 ChiefJudgeLawrenceStengel,E.D.Pa.,PublicHearing—Philadelphia,Pa.,Panel8,Tr.,at6.
118 Id.at17.
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 31
 States unless approved by the Conference itself.
 





















































































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