Idaho May Take Responsiblity of Public Defenders
MOSCOW, Idaho (AP) — County officials in Idaho are considering shifting public defense responsibilities to the state after struggling to meet constitutionally mandated funding and training requirements.
The Lewiston Tribune reports that nearly 200 county representatives are scheduled to vote on the issue Wednesday in Moscow at the annual Idaho Association of Counties convention. The resolution calls for the state to control and fund the public defender system. However, counties would continue to contribute $22 million that they are already paying for the system.
Association president Patty O. Weeks says most counties are not equipped to manage public defense when funding varies between counties. Weeks added that county commissioners tend to work part time and aren't trained to oversee how those funds should be spent on a public defense system.