County Public Defender System Failing in Idaho, Report Finds

The National Legal Aid and Defender Association released a report last week on the overwhelming burden the Idaho public defender offices are facing. The report found that the county-based system had become overwhelmed by growing caseloads, and that many defendents agree to plea deals without ever consulting with an attorney. The report also raised concerns over the availability of effective counsel for children in the criminal justice system, given that caseloads were as high as 952 per attorney per year, in one county. The Boise Weekly has a nice summary article, and the NLADA press release is available as well.

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