S.F. cannot afford to cut public defender’s Finances budget

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.

Don’t shortchange justice

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.

Pride Rides: Mayor’s Convoy, Public Defender’s Truck, Assessor’s Last-Minute Call and a Big Surprise From Eric Mar

The Public Defender’s Office has marched in the pride parade for over 25 years. “We’ll have 100 in our contingent with several banners. You’ll know us because we’ll be blasting ‘Fight the Power’ and John Lennon’s ‘Power to the People.'”

Point Adachi: Controller’s Audit Bolsters Claim That Farming Out Cases to Private Attorneys Would Cost City More

The mayor’s plan to slice $1.9 million off the Public Defender’s budget would result in the city paying up to $1.4 million more per year as the public defender would be forced to farm out 2,600 cases to private attorneys.

Is SF privatizing legal defense for the poor?

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?

California wants to cut legal aid attorneys for poor

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.

The real defenders of San Francisco values

San Francisco Bay Guardian, Politics blog: While Mayor Gavin Newsom gallivants around the country…other city leaders are doing the hard work of restoring San Francisco values. On Wednesday, there are two shining examples of this uphill battle that take place on opposite ends of Civic Center Plaza. First, SF Public Defender Jeff Adachi hosts “Justice Summit 2009: Defending the Public and the Constitution.

Justice summit taking place amid cuts to public defender’s office

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.

California Selected for MacArthur Foundation Juvenile Indigent Defense Action Network

California has been selected as one of four sites nationally to participate in the Models for Change Juvenile Indigent Defense Action Network. The initiative, supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, is aimed at developing innovative solutions and strategies to better address the legal needs of youth who come into contact with the juvenile justice system.

Behavioral Health Court on KQED: Crime and the Mentally Ill

KQED’s “Forum,” with Michael Krasny, takes up the issue of the mentally ill in the criminal justice system. “Forum” looks at new programs designed to help police and the courts avoid dangerous confrontations with the mentally ill. These programs are designed to steer the mentally ill toward treatment, instead of a life of incarceration. Visit […]

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