In 2007 nearly 1,000 public defender offices in 49 states and the District of Columbia provided defense services for indigent clients. (Indigent defense services were provided by private attorneys in Maine.) The public defender offices received nearly 6 million cases in 2007, employed more than 17,000 full-time equivalent litigating attorneys, and reported operating expenditures of more than $2.4 billion.
• In 2007, 964 public defender offices across the nation received nearly 6 million indigent defense cases.
• Misdemeanor cases accounted for about 40% of all cases received by state-based public defender offices and about 50% of the cases received by county-based offices.
• Half of all state-based public defender offices had formal caseload limits in place in 2007.
• Total expenditures in public defender offices exceeded $2.4 billion in 2007.
DOJ Report on Public Defenders’ Caseloads
Source: American Constitution Society blog, December 1, 2009