One of the most significant pieces of legislation concerning the federal criminal justice system, the Criminal Justice Act (“CJA”), 18 U.S.C. § 3006A, secures the Sixth Amendment right to counsel for federal criminal defendants. Enacted in 1964, the CJA provides a system for appointing and compensating lawyers to represent defendants financially unable to retain counsel; as well as providing for payment of experts, investigators, or other needed defense services in federal criminal proceedings. Learn more about the CJA and the current program here.
Appointed by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. in 2015 to conduct a comprehensive and impartial review of the CJA program, the CJA Review Committee was chaired by Judge Kathleen Cardone (W.D. Tex.). The Committee spent the next two and a half years assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the program, and making recommendations for improvements. The final report was delivered to Director James C. Duff, Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts on November 2, 2017.