In light of new research and developments in public defense, NAPD adopts this statement:

Public defense workloads must be reasonable, ensuring that public defense counsel is able to
represent each client according to prevailing national professional norms. Public defense leaders
should work to develop plans to implement workload limits, guided by the 2023 National Public
Defense Workload Study (NPDWS) and these guiding principles:

  1. The Constitution requires public defenders to have reasonable workloads.
  2. Workload limits should be based on rigorous research.
  3. Workload limits should be implemented according to local plans with clear deadlines.
  4. All defense team members must have reasonable workloads.
  5. Excessive workloads harm everyone and disproportionately harm people of color.
  6. To achieve reasonable workloads, the criminal legal system’s demands on public defenders
    must be reduced.