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Criminal Justice Act - Judicial Business 2014

The Criminal Justice Act (CJA) provides funding for the representation of individuals with limited financial resources in federal criminal proceedings. In each district, a plan exists for providing representation through private panel attorneys and, where established, federal public or community defender offices. This year, 81 federal defender organizations (consisting of 63 federal public defender organizations and 18 community defender organizations) served 91 of the 94 federal judicial districts.

Representations closed by the federal public and community defender organizations (including representations in criminal matters, appeals, and habeas corpus proceedings) declined 12 percent to 122,802. Many defender organizations reported that fewer cases were brought by U.S. attorneys in offices that had undergone staff reductions. The largest percentage decreases occurred in the District of New Mexico (down 33 percent), Western/Middle District of Louisiana (down 29 percent), and Western District of North Carolina (down 28 percent). The largest percentage increase was in the District of Oregon (up 15 percent) and primarily stemmed from cases involving drug crimes.

Representations by appointed panel attorneys fell 2 percent to 87,403. The number of private attorneys paid through the CJA panel attorney payment system was 9,082.

For a summary of federal defender appointments under the CJA for the past five years, see Table S-21. For information on representations for each federal public and community defender organization, see Table K-1.