The 2017 Report of the Ad Hoc Committee to Review the Criminal Justice Act Program

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.

This report as well as an Executive Summary are now available.  Also, included on this page are some of the data and resources that were collected over the course of the study that may be of use to the field.