Cost and Financing

The Missouri public defender system announced yesterday that its Springfield office would not accept new cases until August because attorneys have exceeded their maximum caseloads.

In the face of an economic recession and budget constraints, states are finding it more difficult to provide a constitutionally mandated public defense attorney for indigent criminal defendants.

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments strongly urges Congress to restore funding to the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant program to the Fiscal Year 2007 level of $520 million, at a minimum; and
 
BE IT THEREFORE FURTHER RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments supports full funding in future years for this critical anti-crime program at its authorized level of $1.095 billion.
 

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