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house Bill H.R. 3407

Creating a National Center for the Right to Counsel

Argument in favor

Would improve public defender systems across America.

Argument opposed

Give states money to hire more public defenders, instead.

bill Progress

  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
      Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security
      Committee on Ways and Means
    IntroducedOctober 30th, 2013

What is House Bill H.R. 3407?

This bill would establish a National Center for the Right to Counsel in Washington, D.C. The Center would be a private, nonprofit corporation that would provide supplemental financial support to poor defendants and also provide training programs aimed at improving legal services for the poor.  More details are provided below. 


The bill impacts the U.S. public defender system, and might also impact the poor's access to effective counsel.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 3407

A CBO cost is currently unavailable.

More Information


Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) Press Release

Further Details:

Each U.S. state would be ordered to create an advisory council that would  monitor, receive, and investigate complaints regarding the compliance of public defense systems that receive funding with applicable laws and regulations; (2) notify the Center of any apparent violations; and (3) collect data on the delivery of public defense services and facilitate information sharing between the state's public defense systems.

-The bill would authorize the Center to: (1) make grants and contracts; (2) undertake research, training, and technical assistance; and (3) serve as a clearinghouse for information.

-The bill prohibits the Center from interfering with attorneys' professional responsibilities to their clients or from abrogating the authority of states or other jurisdictions to enforce such standards.

-The bill requires the Center, to the extent feasible, to have services provided in an indigent defendant's principal language in areas where significant numbers of indigent defendants speak a language other than English.

-The bill directs the Center to make available to the public an online database that includes the contact information for all public defense systems in every state. It also requires the Center to establish regional backup service centers to assist public defense systems with access to investigators, sentencing mitigation specialists, and information about available grants.


National Center for the Right to Counsel Act

Official Title

To establish the National Center for the Right to Counsel.