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Report Details NY Indigent Defense Caseloads

WAMC file photo

A state report shows the almost 700 attorneys defending the poor averaged 680 cases last year, nearly double the recommended limit, even though their ranks and funding increased from the year before.

The Office of Indigent Legal Services says Wednesday the caseload average in the 57 counties outside New York City declined slightly from 719 the year before.

Meanwhile, the number of attorneys rose by almost 50 and their funding rose to $175 million, an increase of about $9 million.

Lawyers for poor defendants in New York are provided by a combination of legal aid societies and assigned counsel programs.

The report cites an annual limit for new cases of 367 and estimates another $105 million was needed last year to reach that.

New York City has reduced its caseloads.

© 2014 AP

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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