The The Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics report, State Government Indigent Defense Expenditures, FY 2008-2012, is available in Adobe .pdf format.
"States Spend Less on Legal Defense for the Poor," is the Wall Street Journal Law blog post by Joe Palazzolo.
State spending on legal defense for the poor slumped in recent years, as court budgets felt the pinch from the financial crisis, according to a new study by the Justice Department’s research arm.
The $2.2 billion spent on indigent defense in fiscal 2012, the most recent year studied, was the lowest in five years, the Bureau of Justice Statistics found. From 2011 to 2012, state spending declined by $45 million, or about 2%. The study didn’t include federal, county and local spending on indigent defense.
The dip appeared to represent shrinking state budgets, rather than targeted funding cuts. As a share of total spending on the judiciary, legal defense for the poor held steady at 9.5% to 10% from 2008 to 2012, according to the study by BJS statisticians Erinn Herberman and Tracey Kyckelhahn.
The BJS study marks the reversal of a trend. The American Bar Association, which has funded its own research, found that state spending on indigent defense increased from $1.4 billion in fiscal 2002 to $2.4 billion in fiscal 2008.