Public Accountability Report Public Accountability Report

State Appellate Defender, Office of the
(Appropriated Spending in Thousands)
  FY 2021 FY 2020
Reporting Programs Expenditures Headcount Expenditures Headcount
Indigent Appellate Defense Statewide $ 23,593.2 241.0 $ 22,289.1 236.0
Non-Reporting Programs
Juvenile Defender Resource Center  $ 336.1 3.0 $ 292.0 3.0
Expungement Program  $ 169.7 2.0 $ 123.0 2.0
Statewide Training to Public Defenders  $ 16.8 N/A $ 65.6 N/A
Law Student Program  $ 0.0 N/A $ 53.1 11.0
Totals $ 24,115.8 246.0 $ 22,822.8 252.0

Amounts may not sum to total due to rounding.

Agency Narrative

The principal function of the Office of the State Appellate Defender (OSAD) is to represent indigent persons on appeal in criminal cases when appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court, the Appellate Court, or the Circuit Court. The Administrative Office of the agency is located in Springfield, with district offices in each of the five appellate court districts -- Chicago, Elgin, Ottawa, Springfield, and Mt. Vernon.

Effective January 1, 2004, people with qualifying arrest and convictions may petition the court of their sentencing county for an expungement or a sealing of their record. This agency has the responsibility to disseminate pertinent information regarding this program via brochures, the agency website, and a toll-free telephone number. OSAD’s expungement unit receives an average of 220 emails per month, 145 phone calls to the hotline, and 185 phone calls per month requesting information about expungement and sealing of records. An average of 190 information packets per month are sent to Illinois residents requesting forms and additional information. Upon request, OSAD participates in community events to promote public awareness of expungement and sealing availability. In fiscal year 2021, OSAD was unable to participate in any community events due to COVID-19.

In fiscal year 2021, the Juvenile Defender Resource Center (JDRC) continued to maintain its website, which provides attorneys with up-to-date information on trainings, news items, and legislative changes affecting juvenile defense; a juvenile defender list-serve; and access to the JDRC Case Law Summaries, sample pleadings, and links to expert materials and resources. The Center provided advice and assistance to attorneys in 96 individual cases. The Center also added a semi-monthly newsletter this fiscal year to regularly communicate with Illinois juvenile defenders. Due to the pandemic, the Center staff shifted to online trainings this fiscal year and provided five continuing legal education (CLE) courses and hosted two online discussion groups. The Center’s Trial Attorney Assistance Program, which provides funding by application to attorneys who would otherwise be unable to retain expert witnesses and evaluators for their juvenile clients, operated on a limited basis as the result of COVID-19-related court closures.

The Jamie Kunz Trial Ad Program, which had been postponed from its original March 2020 date due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was held via Zoom from August 10 - 14, 2021, and 28 attorneys from 12 counties participated. This program featured a combination of synchronous and asynchronous material (sometimes known as blended learning), in which attorneys watched some training videos ahead of time and participated in live, on-your-feet, skills-training workshops.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 Illinois Public Defender Association (IPDA) Fall Seminar and the 2021 IPDA Spring Seminar.

On November 13, 2020, the JDRC held a live virtual training for the juvenile division of the Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender. In "Bending the Arc of Justice: How Appeals Can Help Individual Clients and Shape Legal Precedent," the basics of appealing a delinquency case, unsettled areas of the law, and the importance of trial and appellate attorney partnerships were presented.

On December 4, 2020, the JDRC presented a live Zoom CLE training for Cook County juvenile defenders on limiting the detention of youth.

The JDRC presented "Challenging the Unnecessary Incarceration of Children Through Pre-Trial Sentence Credit" via Zoom on February 19, 2021, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m., and it was open to any Cook County public defender.

On April 16, 2021, the JDRC conducted “The Not-So-Speedy-Trial Right for Youth - Challenging Unnecessary Delays and Pre-Trial Detention” via Zoom for Cook County juvenile defenders.

On May 19, 2021, the JDRC partnered with the Northwestern Children and Family Justice Center and presented the Zoom training “Keep Calm and Carry On: Jonesing for Justice in a Post-Miller, Post-Lusby Landscape.”

OSAD and the IPDA presented the “Getting Your Case Across” virtual workshop from 2:00 to 2:50 p.m. every Wednesday in June. This workshop helped public defenders sharpen their presentation skills and taught the fundamentals of storytelling.

OSAD assisted the IPDA in presenting its first-ever virtual seminar on June 10, 11, 17, and 18. It was free of charge and presented for eight hours of credit, including five hours of professionalism credit (including one hour each of diversity and mental health credit). The program registered 309 criminal defense attorneys.

On June 17, 2021, Marilena David-Martin, the Deputy Director of the Michigan State Appellate Defender Office, gave a 1.5-hour training via Zoom to OSADers on "Writing and Editing Tips." Attorneys received 1.5 hours of CLE credit for attending, and 56 attorneys attended the live session or watched the recorded video.

In July 2020, OSAD launched the online training program “Criminal Appeals in Illinois: An Introduction to Criminal Law and Procedure.” This course was designed to help private attorneys interested in participating in the Supreme Court’s pro bono program. It walked attorneys through a criminal trial and pointed out areas for potential issues on appeal. It also taught Supreme and local Appellate Court Rules and gave training on appellate practice, such as brief writing, motions, and oral arguments. Finally, it discussed the various OSAD resources available to attorneys who participated in the pro bono program. Attorneys who were not otherwise qualified to participate in the pro bono program could qualify by completing this course. The five-week course was offered four times in fiscal year 2021: July 2020, September 2020, January 2021, and April 2021.


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