According to the co-chairs of the Constitution Project’s National Right to Counsel Committee, proposed budget cuts to the Public Defender’s Office threaten to exact a toll on San Francisco that would greatly outweigh their modest fiscal benefits.
SF Chronicle: The proposed cut is seriously shortsighted and dishonest. If a defendant can’t get a public defender, the job goes to a pool of private lawyers where one will take the case – and bill the city. Total savings: just about zero.
A report released by the San Francisco City Controller on case costs of the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office has found that the the office’s representation of 28,000 people every year is the most efficient and cost-effective way to provide legal representation to those who cannot afford lawyers.
The Public Defender’s Office is facing a budget cut of about $1.9 million at the same time as the Superior Court is budgeting an additional $1.2 million for handling cases that the public defender can’t. Is San Francisco trying to take all of the misdemeanor cases away from the PD’s office and give them to private defense lawyers?
AP: Public defenders, who already are stretched to the breaking point by huge caseloads and dwindling staff, face layoffs across the country. Nowhere is the threat more apparent than in California.
On Thursday, June 18, 10am on the Goodlett Steps of San Francisco City Hall, the community will rally in support of public defense and budget justice.
San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi said on Monday that the Mayor’s proposed $1.9 million cut to the Public Defender’s Office will cost the city millions more in the years ahead and take an unnecessary toll on poor people in the justice system.
Public defenders and defense attorneys from around California met in San Francisco today to discuss how budget cuts are affecting their work. What cuts are public defenders being asked to make, and how are those cuts impacting their ability to defend people accused of crimes who can’t afford a lawyer?
Public Defenders, Criminal Justice Leaders from around U.S. to Convene in San Francisco SAN FRANCISCO – Over 300 people in support of public defense will gather on Wednesday, May 6, 2009 to hear Judge Thelton Henderson, senior federal judge of the Northern District of California, speak to the importance of the Sixth Amendment right to [...]
San Francisco Examiner: A summit on the crucial role played by public defenders comes at a time of tension between the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office and the mayor’s office.