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Problem-Solving Defenders in the Community: Expanding the Conceptual and Institutional Expanding the Conceptual and Institutional Boundaries of Providing Counsel to the Poor

Clarke, Cait
June 4, 2015

Source: (2001) Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics. 14(2): 401-458.

Cait Clarke identifies two major initiatives in criminal justice at the forefront of legal, academic, and policy-making debates. The first is the community justice movement. The second is the problem-solving movement. Many people attribute the drop in crime rates to community justice and problem-solving efforts, exemplified through prosecutors, police, and judges. Clarke believes that criminal defense lawyers who represent those who cannot afford to hire their own counsel – public defenders – have been neglected as leaders in community justice initiatives and problem-solving lawyering. Community justice is not justice until it fully understands and supports the role of public defense. In this context, Clarke explores an expanded conception of what it means to provide counsel to the criminally accused. This conception is grounded in the community defense movement of the 1970s.


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