Issue Overview

A recent Sixth Amendment Center evaluation of indigent defense systems in nine Illinois counties, The Right to Counsel in Illinois: An Evaluation of Adult Criminal Trial Level Indigent Services, commissioned by the Illinois Supreme Court through the Administrative Office of Illinois Courts, concluded that:

In January 2022, faculty, law students, graduate and undergraduate students, and staff at the Children and Family Justice Center and the Sociology Department at Northwestern University (“the research team”) convened to develop a research strategy to better understand the nature and scope of these deficiencies in Illinois` indigent defense system. Since then, the research team collected, verified, and analyzed a large, statewide database that details how indigent defense resources are distributed across all 102 Illinois counties.