In 2013, the Texas Indigent Defense Commission (TIDC) and the Comal County, Texas District and County criminal court took unprecedented steps to explore how the right to choose counsel might be extended to indigent defendants and what the impacts might be on defendants and the criminal justice system overall. Over the course of the next few years, the Client Choice program emerged. This alternative approach to indigent defense, which has been used in parts of Europe, had never been tried in the United States before. JMI is pleased to have been part of this groundbreaking effort as the project evaluator.
JMI’s evaluation of the Client Choice Program in Comal County, Texas can be found here: The Power of Choice: The Implications of a System Where Indigent Defendants Choose Their Own Counsel