Tag: public defender office

Missouri’s “Perfect Storm” explained

Pleading the Sixth: As if excessive caseloads, a lack of independence, inadequate funding, and low compensation were not enough of a problem for those charged with providing right to counsel services in Missouri, public defenders are now being forced into

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Tennessee Supreme Court Task Force recommends complete overhaul of right to counsel services

Pleading the Sixth: Recognizing that the State of Tennessee needs a better way of providing right to counsel services, in September 2015 former Chief Justice Sharon Lee created an Indigent Representation Task Force and challenged them to “build a better mousetrap.”

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DOJ recommendations for Shelby County, TN place financial burden on the county; Task Force would place responsibility on the state

Pleading the Sixth: For nearly five years, the U.S. Department of Justice has been trying to improve the representation of children in delinquency proceedings in Shelby County (Memphis), Tennessee. As the DOJ seeks to put more indigent defense funding responsibilities on

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Alabama reforms spark expanded use of public defender model

Pleading the Sixth:  The indigent defense reforms enacted in 2011 are starting to take root in Alabama.  Rather than leading to a proliferation of flat-fee contracting, as some have feared, state funding has steadily increased under the reforms, prompting both

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Missouri Bar weighs in on workload crisis as the legislature debates privatizing much of the public defender’s work

Pleading the Sixth: A new bill introduced in the Missouri legislature would resolve the public defender caseload crisis by restricting the state public defender to representation in only serious felony cases while privatizing services for all other case-types through low-bid

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New reports promote public defender model for Texas

Pleading the Sixth: Two new independent reports out of Texas conclude that the public defender model provides better, more cost-efficient representation than the assigned counsel model. In a companion piece, a 2011 U.S. Department of Justice report makes the same argument.

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