The Sixth Amendment right to counsel is at the heart of the Center's expertise. We study public defense and appointed counsel systems, and advocate for best practices in the delivery of this fundamental right.
Because the earliest stages of the criminal process may be the most important determinants of case outcomes, our work focuses on initial appearance procedures and the screening and charging process.
With their discretionary power to screen and charge criminal cases, prosecutors wield extraordinary influence on the criminal legal system. Our research helps define best practices in this critical work.
Pandemic Policy volunteers from across the nation are tracking local criminal legal responses to Covid-19. The resulting pandemic policy database will help experts plan for future crises.
We study the operation of small, tribal, and rural (STAR) criminal legal systems. We also support a network of STAR justice stakeholders and drive national reform conversations about STAR communities.
With engaging programming for lawyers and lay people, the Deason Center builds the powerful partnerships and strong communities that are necessary to changing the criminal legal system.