FUNDING ADDITIONAL PUBLIC DEFENDERS MAKES GOOD BUSINESS SENSE
Statement from Public Advocate Ed Monahan
I am grateful to our Governor for his leadership that will allow our public defenders to meet their important professional responsibilities in representing poor citizens accused of a crime, and that continues funding of our alternative sentencing workers to reduce addictions.
More public defender capacity at the start of cases is very smart because it allows defenders to spend adequate time on their cases sooner. This capacity will resolve cases quicker and more reliably. It will reduce frustrations of victims, judges, prosecutors. It will increase the public confidence in our criminal justice system, and it will save counties substantial funding spent on jails because the cases will proceed to conclusion.
An additional 44 defenders will reduce average caseloads of public defenders from 514 cases handled in a year to 395 cases. In addition to increasing the efficiency of our criminal justice system, this will allow people to receive the representation our sacred constitution guarantees.
Funding additional public defenders is a prudent, wise, smart investment that will return real, ongoing dividends. The beneficiaries will be victims, judges, prosecutors, the public and our public safety.
The value of the funding provided in SB192’s
Heroin Bill alternative sentencing worker program is significant.
The alternative sentencing worker program is a proven way to address substance abuse issues by providing defense-generated alternatives to incarceration through cost-effective, individualized community-based treatment plans that provide positive reinforcement when the inevitable relapse comes so we really help our neighbors break their addictions. This is a unique, award-winning, nationally recognized high value program broadly supported by judges, prosecutors, jailers and Kentucky’s Office of Drug Control Policy.