This chapter provides a brief overview of post-1970s developments in indigent defense. The crisis of overwhelming caseloads and inadequate funding for public defenders has continued to the present day. As a result, many advocates argue that the promise of Gideon v. Wainwright and the Sixth Amendment right to counsel has never been fully realized in criminal courts around the United States. New models of advocacy, like the holistic defense approach, seek to make public defenders more representative of, and responsive to, the communities they serve, and public defenders increasingly connect their work with racial justice, particularly with the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement.
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