Colorado Bail Book

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) recently published the Colorado Bail Book: A Defense Attorney’s Guide to Adult Pretrial Release. NACDL’s Public Defense team is using this manual as a model when training lawyers on how best to represent their clients pretrial. The manual was published in partnership with the Office of the Colorado State Public Defender and the Colorado Criminal Defense Institute, and with grant support from the Bureau of Justice Assistance. Similar manuals for Wisconsin and New Jersey will be forthcoming.

Top national state court leadership associations launch National Task Force on Fines, Fees and Bail Practices.

The Conference of Chief Justices (CCJ)—the association of the top judicial leaders from the 50 states, D.C. and the U.S. territories—and the Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA) are leading this effort.

In The News

How the Legal System in New Orleans Is Screwing the Poor, by Max Rivlin-Nadler, VICE (March 22, 2016)

The Justice Department shines a light on the high price of petty court costs, by Editorial Board, The Washington Post (March 18, 2016)

Louisiana Supreme Court chief justice raises alarm about funding for public defenders, by Kevin Litten,The Times-Picayune (March 15, 2016)

Justice Dept. Condemns Profit-Minded Court Policies Targeting the Poor, by Matt Apuzzo, The New York Times (March 14, 2016)

Guest column: Public defenders necessary to combat injustice, by Jonathan Rapping, The New Orleans Advocate (March 2, 2016)

Behind The Scenes of Public Defense, by Emily DePrang, The Vera Institute of Justice (March 2, 2016)

Consortium Members Update

National Association for Public Defense released it's 2015 Annual Report, “All Day, Every Day, Public Defense,” featuring the day-in, day-out advocacy that public defenders provide in jails, courts and communities across the country. The report release date coincided with National Public Defender Day, which was on March 18th.

National Association for Court Management (NACM): In preparation for the plenary session (and breakout sessions) at the NACM annual conference in July, American University in partnership with NACM has developed a short web-based survey of the membership to identify the method(s) for providing public defense services in their respective courts and, particularly those working in courts where the appointment of public defense is a court or judge function. The idea is to identify those courts where current provision of public defense services is essentially unmanaged and where there may be opportunity to promote some oversight, training or other mechanisms initiated by the Court to promote effective counsel.

The Sixth Amendment Center has published a news report on the Utah reforms, which established a state indigent defense commission: “Part I of this report explains the new reforms and the consensus approach from which other states can learn. Part II explains the historical underpinnings of Utah’s courts that give us optimism for the right to counsel in Utah and offers lessons for achieving the best paradigm of justice everywhere.”

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