The Right to Counsel National Campaign is spearheaded by a consortium of national, state, and local criminal justice stakeholders, community advocates, and policymakers who are committed to ensuring the fulfillment of the Sixth Amendment right to counsel and the effective delivery of public defense services.
New Report Reveals Need to Educate Americans on Right to Counsel
The right to an attorney in a criminal case hails from the United States Constitution; however, according to a new report, “Americans’ Views on Public Defenders and the Right to Counsel,” this is not a wide known fact. Released on March 16, 2017 by the Right to Counsel National Campaign at American University’s School of Public Affairs, the report outlines the results of a year-long opinion study focused on how well Americans understand public defense and their right to counsel.
“This report reveals a clear need for public education about the constitutional right to counsel, the realities of the state of public defense on the ground, and the public and government support necessary to ensure that this fundamental right is upheld,” said Kim Ball, director of AU’s Justice Programs Office, which houses the Right to Counsel National Campaign.
Right to Counsel National Consortium Second Annual Meeting
On October 25th, The Right to Counsel National Consortium, which is coordinated by the Justice Programs Office, a center at American University, held its second annual meeting in the Great Hall of the U.S. Department of Justice. The meeting brought together a group of criminal justice stakeholders, policymakers and advocates to show their continued commitment to protecting citizens' Sixth Amendment right to effective counsel. The day began with an invigorating speech by U.S. Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates in which she stated, "I've talked with correctional officers, inmates, law enforcement officers, public defense advocates, elected officials and community leaders, and despite their differing roles, the common message is clear: the status quo needs to change." The message of collaboration and cross-discipline coordination rang loud throughout the day as a requisite means for reforming public defense systems and safeguarding the constitutional right to counsel.
Read more here.
Right to Counsel National Consortium Inaugural Meeting
Held on Tuesday, November 10, 2015
In its continued effort to support the Department of Justice’s Right to Counsel Initiative, the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), in collaboration with the Right to Counsel (R2C) National Campaign Steering Committee, has convened a consortium of national, state, and local criminal justice stakeholders and policymakers. The goal of this initiative is to raise awareness about the important issues relevant to providing effective public defense services, spearhead a national conversation, and identify systemic approaches — involving both criminal justice and non-criminal justice stakeholders — to ensure that the right to counsel is universally provided as declared in the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution. Read more here.