Country Justice applies multiple research methods, including spatial mapping techniques, to Texas' rural criminal legal systems. This study focuses on the challenge of rural criminal law deserts, the implementation of the Sixth Amendment right to counsel, and the efficacy of rural justice innovations.
Small, tribal, and rural (STAR) communities struggle to recruit, train, and retain criminal law practitioners. With its new Rural Summer Externship Program and its Greening the Desert educational programs, the Deason Center is promoting innovative strategies to guarantee that STAR residents have access to criminal legal services.
Does establishing rural public defender offices increase access to appointed counsel? By applying a synthetic control analysis to 15 years of Texas data, Center researchers will answer this important question. Funded by the Texas Bar Foundation, this study will provide actionable recommendations for reform.