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Sixth Amendment Training and Technical Assistance Initiative

Training and Technical Assistance

The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) offers on-demand training and technical assistance (TTA) to support the Protection of Constitutional Rights Under the Sixth Amendment. BJA partners with the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, and the Center for Court Innovation to offer a variety of TTA to meet the needs of state and local efforts.

TTA is available to support state and local governments and their agents (i.e., court leaders and administrators, defender agencies, and other criminal justice stakeholders) on a variety of issues, including, but not limited to: the parameters of effective representation as defined by Sixth Amendment case law; systemic indigent defense best practices; and, information on defender services in comparable jurisdictions. BJA envisions some requests under this category to be brief in duration (less than two days’ time), including speaker bureau requests, experts for task forces or in the legislative arena, comparative research, and help desk calls. Other requests will require more intensive effort, including on-site assistance with remote follow up.

In addition, TTA is available for strategic planning. Courts, state and local governments, and their agents may require a deeper or broader understanding as to the current state of Sixth Amendment protections within systems, and the best ways to address any identified issues. BJA offers assistance in creating strategic, individualized TTA plans by conducting a thorough needs assessment rooted in an approach that combines research and practice. Jurisdictions that are diverse in size, region, funding, defense delivery system, and data capacity will be selected. There will be on-site and remote technical assistance.

In order to receive any of the above TTA options, please visit the Apply for Training and Technical Assistance page to submit an online TTA application.

TTA Site Map

Visit the TTA Site Map webpage to learn more about sites that have received TTA in the past and what these states or local jurisdictions are doing to address issues related to the Sixth Amendment.

Targeted TTA Announcement

In late 2020, the American Bar Association passed revised resolution 117 on virtual and remote court proceedings, which urges the creation of local committees to establish or review the use of video technology in courtrooms and make recommendations. BJA’s TTA providers will provide collaborative strategic planning services to state and local jurisdictions and their agents seeking to form such committees or otherwise address issues related to the use of video technology in criminal courtrooms as it relates to Sixth Amendment rights.

Applications will be taken on a rolling and ongoing basis until resources are no longer available for assistance. BJA and its TTA partners (the Center for Court Innovation and National Legal Aid and Defender Association) will follow up with the applicant to conduct an interview. Selected applicants will be notified to receive the available TTA at no cost. Please reach out to [email protected] to learn more.

Date Created: December 11, 2019