Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Gideon Alert: South Carolina Governor signs reform bill to stem ineffectively expensive over-incarceration of non-violent offenders

On June 2, 2010, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford signed into law a sweeping sentencing reform bill that his press release states will “reverse the trend toward incarcerating non-violent criminals who pose little or no risk to the public, discourage recidivism by providing inmates with a more closely supervised transition to society once their sentences have been served, and at the same time save taxpayers more than $400 million over the next five years.”

12:25 PM
Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Gideon Alert: Gulf oil spill mires Louisiana's right to counsel reforms

The Louisiana legislature passed the Louisiana Public Defender Act of 2007 (“Act 307”) on an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote with the expressed intent of ensuring that “all indigent criminal defendants who are eligible to have appointed counsel at public expense receive effective assistance of counsel at each critical stage of the proceeding,” and “t

9:46 AM
Friday, May 28, 2010

Gideon Alert: "Kids for Cash" Commission Report concludes Pennsylvania in the business of dispensing "Justice by Geography"

On May 27, 2010, the Pennsylvania Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice delivered a scathing indictment of the Luzerne County “kids for cash” scandal, in which judges allegedly made millions of dollars in kick-backs for placing juvenile offenders into

12:04 PM
Thursday, May 27, 2010

Gideon Alert: Flagrant constitutional violations just a by-product of Utah’s Justice Courts’ revenue machine

The Salt Lake City Weekly has published an excellent spotlight report on the problems of Utah’s Justice Courts (Nickled and Dimed by Utah Justice Courts, 5/27/2010).  There are 134 Justice Courts throughout Utah’s 29 counties, e

9:39 AM
Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Gideon Alert: Michigan Civil Rights Commission resolution acknowledges failed defender systems as a civil rights issue

On May 24, 2010, the Michigan Civil Rights Commission adopted a resolution stating unequivocally that the failing county indigent defense systems constitute a civil rights issue.  Interim Department of Civil Rights Director Dan Krichbaum (appointed aft

12:48 PM
Thursday, May 20, 2010

Gideon Alert: Military build-up expected to make Guam public defender crisis worse

Public defender services in Guam were formally created in 1968.  In 1975, legislation created the Public Defender Services Corporation (PDSC), an island-wide organization overseen by a board of trustees to assist low-income people with civil, criminal, and juvenile proceedings.  Through rule-making authority, the Board of PDSC has a power most public defenders in the c

8:55 AM