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Wisconsin Reporting, Analysis and Mining Project (RAMP)

Award Information

Award #
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $400,000)

The Smart Defense Initiative, administered by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), is part of BJA’s “Smart Suite” of criminal justice programs including Smart Pretrial, Smart Policing, Smart Supervision, and Smart Prosecution. BJA established the Smart Suite over 5 years ago with the creation of the Smart Policing Initiative. The Smart Suite supports criminal justice professionals in building evidence-based, data-driven criminal justice strategies that are effective, efficient, and economical. BJA’s smart programs represent a strategic approach that brings more “science” into criminal justice operations by leveraging innovative applications of analysis, technology, and evidence-based practices.
DOJ has long recognized the importance of quality public defense to a fair justice system. Today, despite the decades that have gone by since the landmark decision in Gideon v. Wainwright, and the important decisions that have followed recognizing the right to counsel in juvenile and misdemeanor cases, Gideon has yet to be fully realized.
The purpose of this program is to improve the quality of public defense delivery systems guided by the Ten Principles of a Public Defense Delivery System, promulgated by the American Bar Association (ABA) in 2002. The ABA Ten Principles of a Public Defense Delivery System (the ABA Ten Principles) represent fundamental building blocks for implementing quality legal representation for indigent criminal defendants. Released in 2002, the ABA Ten Principles list the American Bar Association’s recommendations for government officials and other parties who are charged with improving public defense delivery systems. These principles address defenders’ appropriate function, workload, resources, training, and quality, and have been recognized by the Attorney General “as [an] essential guidepost for ensuring that our indigent defense efforts are as effective- and as efficient – as possible.”

The Wisconsin State Public Defender (SPD) will utilize the award to implement the Wisconsin Reporting, Analysis and Mining Project (RAMP), a data-driven strategy to improve decision-making in individual cases, in oversight of assigned private attorneys, and in policy areas through the development of a data-mining infrastructure. Funds will also be used to improved data infrastructure to increase SPD’s ability to provide high quality representation, enhance program efficiency, and credibly influence public policy.


Date Created: September 29, 2015