Page 78 - Ad Hoc Report June 2018
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and the courts;” and 3) “Accomplish the AO’s mission with fewer resources.”127 Under the re-organization, the Office of Defender Services (“ODS”) became
the Defender Services Office (“DSO”) and is no longer an independent director- ate. It is instead considered a “program” under the newly formed Department of Program Services. DSO is grouped together and supervised with programs such
as the Court Services Office, the Probation and Pretrial Services Office, and the Judiciary Data and Analysis Office, all programs that exist to serve the courts. DSO’s requirements are evaluated not independently but in the context of these other offices’ needs. The chart below shows the current AO structure after re-org.
Defenders expressed concern that their program was now more vulnerable. In their view, the re-organization demonstrated a lack of understanding of the unique role defenders play as independent advocates within the criminal justice system. Several told the Committee they wanted to see DSO restored to its previous position within the AO structure to show the judiciary’s commitment to the defense func- tion. A federal defender told the Committee that with the placement of DSO in the Department of Program Services,
as things have turned out, we feel that we are being perceived as a service to the judges rather than a separate constitutional mission. We believe that there’s a tension between the Defenders doing what they have to
do in defense of their clients and the administrative office serving and servicing judges and the judicial mission. The Director in the administra- tive office looks to judges, we look to the client. We are more akin to the opposite side of the US Attorneys rather than probation and pretrial.128
Defenders also told the Committee that they were concerned that the demo- tion of DSO spoke generally to the decreasing ability of anyone within the cur-
rent governance structure to advocate for the CJA program. Reinstating DSO to an entity that answers directly to the Director of the AO, and is separate from other AO offices that serve the courts,
gives the CJA [panel] and our offices a voice within AO. As I understand it right now, if there are issues impacting indigent defense, because we are a program service, there is a bureaucracy that has to be followed before those concerns make their way to the decision-makers. If we are a direc- torate...I mean [previously] there were still processes in place, but there was a more direct method of advocating for and on behalf of the CJA panel and defender offices under the prior system.129
127 Id.at4–5.
128 JonSands,FPD,D.Ariz.,PublicHearing—Minneapolis,Minn.,Panel5,Tr.,at23. 129 KevinButler,FPD,N.D.Ala.,PublicHearing—Birmingham,Ala.,Panel2,Tr.,at20.
No recommendation presented herein represents 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 the policy of the Judicial Conference of the United States unless approved by the Conference itself.

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