Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Bill Creating a Board and Office of Indigent Defense Services has Passed

The Senate passed the Public Protection budget bill containing a public defense reform measure (Part E) late Monday (June 21). The Assembly had acted on Friday, and the bill was sent to the Governor's office Monday night. The Governor’s press release refers very briefly to the public defense reform provision.

This legislation does not create a fully state funded, statewide public defense system headed by an independent commission. It does create an office and board authorized to "monitor, study, and make efforts to improve the quality of services provided under County Law article 18-B" (which covers public defenders, legal aid offices, assigned counsel, and, now, conflict offices, and includes Family Court representation, which earlier reform proposals this year did not.)

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