The Office of the Public Defender (OPD) has been chronically underfunded since it was created in 2005.
The ACLU detailed the ways that hurts the office and compromises defenders' ability to adequately represent their clients in our report to the Public Defender Commission in 2011. Attorneys have too many cases, there are not enough investigators. Too often this means that clients have difficulties meeting with an attorney and the attorneys don't have the resources they need for their cases.
Indigent defendants have a constitutional right to competent defense, and we are working hard to make sure OPD has the funding necessary to do its job. We're monitoring the Office of the Public Defender Subcommittee as it discusses budget issues today.
Our schedule for the day:
Office of Public Defender Subcommittee 8 a.m. Room 317A
- Joint Appropriations Subcommittee on Judicial Branch, Law Enforcement and Justice
House Judiciary Committee 8 a.m. Room 137
- HB 168 Revise DUI laws for THC
Hearings and floor sessions can be accessed online.