Santa Clara Pre-Arraignment Representation and Review (PARR) Evaluation
The California Policy Lab at UC Berkeley is conducting an evaluation of the Santa Clara Public Defender’s Office Pre-Arraignment Representation and Review (PARR) Project, which provides early legal representation to low-income felony defendants. Normally, public defenders first meet clients at arraignment. In fall 2019, PARR began providing pre-arraignment representation to a randomly selected subset of felony defendants in custody at the Santa Clara County Jail after arrest. This study estimates the impact of early representation services on release at arraignment and case outcomes for felony defendants. The primary hypothesis is that clients who receive early representation will be released from custody more quickly than those who obtain legal representation starting at arraignment. Secondary hypotheses are that early representation will contribute to better case outcomes, including lower rates of charge filings, higher rates of charge reductions, and lower conviction rates.