Monday, May 4, 2009
San Francisco Chronicle op-ed: In the famous 1963 case of Gideon vs. Wainwright, the Supreme Court unanimously held that the state must provide lawyers for those charged with serious crimes who cannot afford them. The court recognized that “lawyers in criminal courts are necessities, not luxuries” and that a fair trial was impossible without counsel for the defense.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi recently announced that his office will be compelled to refuse appointments in some major felony cases under a 25 percent budget cut proposed by Mayor Gavin Newsom and the Board of Supervisors. Critics suggest that Adachi is being unreasonable and that he is not a “team player.” Adachi’s stand is principled, correct and cost effective for San Francisco County.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
The fact that the criminal justice system is, at times, unjust in its outcomes is rarely questioned. Only in the extreme cases, where a person is wrongfully imprisoned for a serious crime, will there be some coverage in the media. But day-to-day injustices are rarely exposed. Because of this, often the public is unaware of the criminal justice system’s own lack of accountability.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Budget cuts and soaring caseloads are pushing teetering public defender’s offices closer to the brink of collapse. However, after years of being under-resourced and overwhelmed, public defenders are finally pushing back.
In the landmark 1963 case Gideon v. Wainwright, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a poor person accused of a crime is entitled to competent and effective legal representation. However, the current economic crisis, rising recession-related crime, and soaring unemployment rates threaten to erode this basic right, which is guaranteed by the U.S. and California constitutions.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
San Francisco – The California Public Defender’s Association announced that San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi will receive the organization’s annual Program of the Year award on Friday, April 17, 2009. Adachi is receiving the award for his office’s innovative work though the “The Children of Incarcerated Parents” program, which provides assistance and services to […]
Friday, April 10, 2009
It is hard to believe that a month has gone by since I started working at the CJC. My decision to staff the court myself was a product of necessity, since I just don’t have the staffing for this court. The Mayor’s office had originally promised to fund the court with two public defenders, and when the court opened, they said they could not fund the court due to the budget deficit. Our staff now is down by eight and our felony and serious case load is still steadily rising.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
“There’s a new Sheriff at the CJC.” Well, actually, not really. Our regular judge is out of town on vacation, and we have a substitute judge at the CJC for a few weeks. At our first morning meeting with the substitute judge, the first thing he wanted to know is what problems we were having […]
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Efforts currently coordinated by the Safe Communities Reentry Council and the San Francisco Reentry Council will be reorganized under the single umbrella of the new formalized Reentry Council and its Subcommittees. The first meeting of the New Reentry Council has been slated for Tuesday June 16.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
The Clean Slate Program 2007-2008 evaluation examines how efficiently Clean Slate delivers services and the impacts that Clean Slate services have on clients’ lives. The Clean Slate Program extends legal advocacy beyond an arrest or disposition by the court so that clients may avail themselves of opportunities to “clean up” their criminal records, even decades after their criminal case is closed.