U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Census of Public Defender Offices (CPDO)

Data Collection Status
Latest Data Available
Data Experts
Erica Grasmick, BJS Statistician
Suzanne Strong, PhD, BJS Statistician
Collection Period



The Census of Public Defender Offices (CPDO) involves the collection of data from all state- and county-funded public defender offices across the country, including offices that are publicly funded but privately operated and offices that handle capital cases only. These public defender offices handle the largest proportion of indigent defense cases of the three major indigent defense delivery systems: public defender offices, assigned counsel systems, and contract attorney systems. A variety of data elements are collected in this census, including office expenditures, number and types of cases handled, staffing, funding sources, use of technology, training opportunities, and the adherence to standards and guidelines by the offices. The CPDO serves as an important source of information on the overall conditions of public defender offices and the changes that have occurred in these offices since the late 1990s. It allows for comparison of offices situated within different funding and administrative structures.

Date Created: September 28, 2009