Criminal Justice Administration Coordination Committee tries to resolve public defender issue

The Criminal Justice Administration Coordination Committee discussed how to expedite requests for public defenders more efficiently at a meeting Tuesday morning. Missouri public defenders cite large caseloads have made them turn away new cases in the past few months, according to a previous Missourian article.

Assistant to the court administrator, Mary Epping, said in an email that the committee would like to ask transport officers to bring the filled out public defender eligibility forms to the court so public defenders can review them sooner.

The article reported that defendants in need of a public defender are being turned away. The article from early October says that 14 counties in Missouri are prepared to turn away new cases requiring a public defender because their caseloads are just too great. Since then, an Associated Press article said six public defenders offices in Missouri refused new cases in the past several months.

Epping said defendants need counsel before arraignment, and this solution might help remedy the problem.

The committee will meet again early next month. Epping said the courts may implement this new plan before the committee’s next meeting.

She said it will not know the effectiveness of this plan until it is put in place.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: