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There are substantial financial benefits to society when public defense systems are properly funded. Public defenders who are competent, who have manageable workloads, and who have professional independence insure that the rights guaranteed by our Constitution are protected and insure that no one’s liberty is taken unless and until they are proven guilty. Importantly, public defenders lower costly incarceration rates for counties and states by advocating for pretrial release and alternate or reduced sentences. When staffed adequately, public defenders increase efficiencies and prevent overcharging and expensive wrongful convictions. In addition to protecting the freedoms of the accused, public defense is central to our public safety. Prosecution, public defense, courts, and law enforcement all serve vital roles ensuring the justice system works reliably and efficiently. This diagram shows how costs for counties increase when persons spend more time incarcerated pretrial than necessary for public safety.
Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy. practices law in the following areas and works with its clients to provide the best possible legal solutions.