Public Defender Board Reaches Fund Distribution Compromise


BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Louisiana Public Defender Board has reached a compromise on a new plan intended to more fairly distribute state funds used to pay lawyers who represent indigent defendants.

The Advocate quotes State Public Defender James T. Dixon Jr. in a Saturday report as saying the plan should prevent the state's 42 district public defenders offices from failing. But, he says any plan would have "winners and losers" because there is not enough money.

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East Baton Rouge Parish District Defender Mike Mitchell says the compromise is an improvement, but it is impossible to be satisfied as the funds public defenders receive from the state are insufficient.

Dixon says the plan approved for fiscal year 2019 is based on data. He says a consulting agency had considered each district's population and caseload.

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