Smart Defense Initiative

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Training and Techncial Assistance

Administered by the Bureau of Justice Assistance of the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, the Smart Defense Initiative pairs public defense practitioners with researchers, technologists, and national experts to develop, implement, and test data-driven stragies for creating fairer and more effective justice systems. For more information, visit  

As the national training and technical assistance provider for the Smart Defense Initiative, the National Legal Aid & Defender Association partners with the National Criminal Justice Association to provide strategic planning and problem solving support to the six Smart Defense sites:

  • Alameda County, California
  • Contra Costa County, California
  • Kentucky
  • New York City, New York
  • Texas
  • Wisconsin

NLADA also provides information and technical assistance to defenders, researchers, and other stakeholders upon request. Contact [email protected] to submit a question about designing a research project, securing funding, or any other aspect of improving your public defense system.




Fact Sheet: Smart Defense Sites Advance Equal Justice Innovation

An overview of the projects and preliminary findings of the six Smart Defense sites.



Fact Sheet: Smart Defense Initiative Expands Evidence-Based Approaches to Public Defense

New opportunities for training and technical assistance for data-driven public defense projects.

A Resource Guide to the Ten Principles