U.S. Public Defender Offices Aren't the Only Ones Struggling

The Jamaica Gleaner reported Sunday on that the country’s Office of the Public Defender is facing a massive backlog of cases. In 2009, the Office opened 846 cases, but only managed to close 159. So far in 2010, 255 new cases have been received but only 18 have been closed. The new Public Defender, Earl Witter, has blamed shoddy investigative work for much of backlog. After taking over the office, Witter said he confronted a sense of “arrogance, malaise and indolence that [he] found intolerable and had to be eradicated,” which led him to reconfigure much of the staff.  For an interesting international comparison to public defender woes, the article makes an good read.

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