Programs that assist poor individuals in the court system are hit hard by tough economic circumstances.
Wired PR News.com – Many court based programs for the poor are at risk due to funding cuts brought on by the recession. As reported by the Associated Press (AP), the majority of states across the country have budget deficits that will affect the ability of their court systems to provide the usual legal aid to low income individuals previously administered through certain programs.
As noted in the report, the National Center for State Courts, recently released a report stating, “The courts may be facing a ‘perfect storm’ of funding shortfalls.” However, courts are required to provide speedy trials and public defenders for individuals who cannot afford an attorney regardless of whether more funding becomes available.
As quoted of David Carroll of Defender Leader Services, “Public defenders’ work comes whether they have money or not to do it.” In regard to the increase in case load the lack of funding has placed on public defenders, Carroll is further quoted as stating, “You’re dealing with a public defender who has absolutely no time to work on your case,” in the meantime “the real perpetrator of the crime is left to roam the streets and cause havoc.”