Idaho Lawmakers Look at Public Defense Jurisdiction, Records
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A group of lawmakers tasked with improving Idaho's public defense system is considering draft legislation that would clarify the jurisdiction of state appellate public defenders, track the workload of public defense attorneys and tweak the funding structure for some training events.
The Public Defense Reform Interim Committee considered the draft bills on Friday, as part of the state's ongoing effort to bring Idaho's patchwork public defense system up to constitutional muster.
The current system has been widely criticized by legal experts for having low funding and high caseloads. One bill under consideration by the committee details what kind of caseload information public defenders would have to report to the state.
Officials hope that the information will help lawmakers create strong guidelines for attorney workloads. Rep. Lynn Luker told committee members he wanted to make sure the data collection wasn't too onerous for the attorneys.