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Research Question
How does the criminal justice system
manipulate the indigent population, and in
what way does this result in conviction and
What does it mean to be
Legal definition of poor
1) n. a person so poor and needy that he/she
cannot provide the necessities of life (food,
clothing, decent shelter) for himself/herself.
2) n. one without sufficient income to afford a
lawyer for defense in a criminal case. If the court
finds a person is an indigent, the court must
appoint a public defender or other attorney to
represent him/her.
Poverty Incarceration
Rate Rate

Mississippi 21.9% Mississippi 1,270

Louisiana 19.9% Louisiana 1,420
Alabama 19.2% Alabama 1,230
New Hampshire New Hampshire
North Dakota 11.1% North Dakota 470
Statistics and Facts
Length of time after arrest before speaking to a
A. Within 24 hours of arrest
B. Within a week of arrest
C. More than a week after arrest
A. Meeting
38% defender
B. 30%
C. 27%

(Hashimoto, 2010)
Attorneys vs. Public
A lot of public defenders are leaving their
post because they simply cant deal with
representing up to 500 people at a time. They
dont even know their own clients names.
Human Rights
Article 7:
All are equal before the law and are entitled
without any discrimination to equal
protection of the law.
Low-risk first-time offenders

Fees to avoid incarceration

Indigent offenders
Debtor incarceration Brittney Douglas Robert
Rich offenders
Discussion Question
Better pay for hired attorneys
What are some ways we can improve
Reduce reliance on incarceration

defense for the indigent

Tackle over-criminalization

The stronger our indigent criminal defense system

is, the more cost-effective and efficient our criminal
justice system will be.
Honorable Jean
Town Justice
Town of Knox, NY
Probation requirements can be
very difficult to meet for those
without transportation. There is
very little public transportation
available in our state's rural
areas and this puts an incredible
burden on the poor.
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Bright, S. [American Constitution Society]. (2010, November 30). Stephen Bright discusses reforming indigent defense.
Retrieved from
Criminal procedure - indigency tests - Colorado requires on-the-record indigency proceedings prior to incarceration for failure to
pay fines. (2015, February). Harvard Law Review, 128(4), 1312+. Retrieved from
Dewan, S., & Lehren, A. W. (2016, December 12). After a crime, the price of a second chance. New York Times. Retrieved from
Fairfax, R. A., Jr. (2013, June). Searching for solutions to the indigent defense crisis in the broader criminal justice reform
Yale Law Journal, 122(8), 2316+. Retrieved from http//
%7CA337365793&sid=summon&asid=e9093aeb29f75f927115374 1cc19cd
Hashimoto, E. J. (2010, September).Assessing the Indigent Defense System(Issue brief). Retrieved February 20, 2017, from
American Constitutional Society website:
Katzenstein, M. F., & Waller, M. R. (2015). Taxing the poor: Incarceration, poverty governance, and the seizure of family
resources.Perspectives on Politics,13(3), 638-656. doi:
Uphoff, R. (2010, Summer). Symposium: broke and broken: can we fix our state indigent defense system? Missouri Law Review,
75(3), 667+. Retrieved from