Monday, March 29, 2010

The Governor and State Legislature recognize the importance of public defense reform this year.

The Senate and Assembly have both modified the Governor's January proposal for creation of a new office and board by recognizing that the Division of Criminal Justice Services cannot house these entities due to conflicts of interest. Each house places the new Office of Public Defense Services in the Department of State.

Read the Senate resolution can be read here (see page 10).

The Assembly's bill makes a number of other changes. Read Part E of A09706B here (see page 84).

Help intensify the momentum for reform! Please contact the Governor, the Senate Conference Leader, and Assembly Speaker -- thank them for their support for public defense reform and encourage them to:

• create the Office of Public Defense Services overseen by the Public Defense Services Board,
• housed in the Department of State,
• adequately funded, and
• with as much authority for improving public defense services as possible!

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