See related Grits posts:The Task Force on Indigent Defense (TFID), in collaboration with the Office of Court Administration (OCA), held its 6th Annual Indigent Defense Workshop on October 23-24, 2008. If you were unable to attend, check out the workshop coursebook and presentations available at the Task Force website. The Task Force staff did an amazing job pulling together valuable resources that counties can use to improve the delivery of indigent defense services.
Key items of discussion at the workshop included:
- The State of Indigent Defense in Texas by Robert L. Spangenberg, President of the Spangenberg Group, a nationally recognized research and consulting firm.
- The impact of the U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Rothgery v. Gillespise County on the appointment of counsel in Texas counties. Presentations by Andrea Marsh, Executive Director of the Texas Fair Defense Project; Judge Dib Waldrip, 433rd District Court, Comal County; Jim Allison, General Counsel, County Judges and Commissioners Association.
- Model programs from around the state:
- Taylor County's Indigent Defense Coordinator
- El Paso County's District Attorney Direct Filing Process
- Travis County's Mental Health Public Defender Office & Crisis Intervention Teams
- Lubbock County's Regional Capital Public Defender Offices
- Effective Representation to Prevent Wrongful Convictions, by Jeff Blackburn of The Innocence Project of Texas.
- Hot Topics in indigent defense:
- Mary Anne Wiley, Deputy General Counsel, Office of the Governor, expressed the views of the Governor on fair defense issues.
- Phyllis Mann of the National Legal Aid & Defender Association extended offer of assistance to counties.
- Beth Mitchell, Advocacy, Inc. shared recommendations for improving the system and a discussion of Outpatient Competency Restoration Pilots.
- Ana Yañez-Correa, ED of the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition (TCJC), presented key findings (summary & ppt) from a recent judicial survey titled "Judicial Perspectives on Substance Abuse & Mental Health Diversionary Programs and Treatment (a collaborative project of TFID, OCA, and TCJC).
- Raman Gill of Sumpter & Gonzalez, L.L.P., spoke on the importance of incorporating social workers and case managers in the defense process for mentally ill clients.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Materials from Indigent Defense Conference
In their e-newsletter this week, the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition provided links to presentation materials from a conference I attended last week on indigent defense. They wrote: