NLADA Recommendations to the Biden-Harris Administration

In November 2020, NLADA released a set of recommended actions the Biden-Harris Administration could take within its first 100 days that would help address the current existence of pervasive racial discrimination and injustice within the criminal legal system. The document outlines how the White House, Department of Justice and other federal agencies can establish new policy and reverse harmful actions by the previous administration in the following ways:

  • Include Civil Legal Aid and Public Defense Perspectives in Justice System Policymaking
  • Promote the Right to Counsel in Civil and Criminal Matters
  • Increase Federal Resources for the Provision of Civil Legal Aid and Public Defense
  • Lift Rules and Limitations on Federal Programs and Funds that Harm Access to Justice
  • Fix the Department of Education-administered Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the urgency of the need to strengthen civil legal aid, public defense and other supportive services, while resources to provide services have sharply declined. The ongoing crisis of racial discrimination and injustice, to which the Black Lives Matter movement brought renewed focus this year, is also sustained in part by disparities in access to counsel, and the consequent unfair treatment of people of color by our justice systems. The Biden-Harris campaign platform demonstrated a strong commitment to the fair administration of justice in our country. The National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA) stands ready to support the incoming administration and all federal agencies to advance that goal.

View the detailed document here:

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