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Under both the United States Constitution and the rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court, public defender offices are tasked with effectively defending their clients’ human rights to life, liberty, property, and to the due process of law. In the past, public defender offices across New York State have faced barriers in providing such representation, as they have historically suffered from a lack of resources and funding. More recently, however, their problems have shifted to a lack of accessibility of programs for their indigent clients. In our research, we will identify the systemic limitations on public defense that the Broome County Public Defender’s Office encounters and evaluate how they navigate those limitations. We will be conducting a review of the legal, financial, and other external restrictions that have been placed on the office, and consider the effectiveness of the legal practices of triage and holistic defense in combating these limitations.



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Navigating Systemic Limitations on Public Defense