Faculty Journal Articles and Book Chapters


Leo S. Jones spent four months in jail, accused of a probation that had long since expired. His incarceration was illegal. It was also preventable.

In this essay, I describe the unique data collection project that identified Mr. Jones’ case. Then, I analyze the various individual, institutional, and systemic practices that contributed to Mr. Jones’ illegal incarceration. I show how an investigation of Mr. Jones’ case led to the discovery of widespread latent errors that may have adversely affected innumerable other detainees. I conclude by explaining what this case reveals about how data collection and analysis can improve public defender practice.

Publication Title

Albany Law Review

Document Type



data collection, public defender, incarceration, probation violation, Katrina-Gideon Interview project