Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $1,500,000)
The National Legal Aid and Defender Association (“NLADA”) and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (“NACDL”) will run an integrated training and technical assistance (TTA) program that provides 21st century support centered on equitable access to counsel. NLADA and NACDL offer a collaborative approach to developing and managing a robust TTA strategy for state and local governments and their agents responsible for ensuring the protection of constitutional rights under the Sixth Amendment. NLADA and NACDL will ensure the collection and dissemination of research-based, data-driven information and resources, and build collaboration across the criminal justice system. This program will employ three integrated approaches: 1) in-depth TTA to four to eight sites designed to improve access to counsel in rural areas and legal deserts, 2) on-demand TTA assistance through an online community portal with access to a curated library of tools and resources, synchronous and asynchronous learning technology, and a moderated private community space for program cohorts, and 3) racial equity centered TTA to address barriers in access to counsel that disproportionately impact Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.