Proposed increase in public defenders could lessen caseload stat - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Proposed increase in public defenders could lessen caseload statewide

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A proposal in Governor Matt Bevin’s budget could lessen the caseload for public defenders statewide.

We're told on average, most public defenders in Kentucky are handling 400 to 500 cases per attorney.

Many say the Governor's proposal could help the overall court system by adding more public defenders statewide.

In January, Governor Matt Bevin unveiled his budget, calling for $650 million in spending cuts.

He also proposed hiring 44 new public defenders.

Local attorney Karen Faulkner tells WDRB the stress level is high for public defenders, because of the large caseload.

She's also a former public defender and says adding resources will help the overall court system.

The fact that the caseload will hopefully go down with more attorneys being added, will definitely be a benefit,” said Attorney Karen Faulkner.

“The other good thing about reducing our caseloads is we'll be able to spend a little more time on cases to make sure that the clients get a fair, proportionate resolution of their case and that's very important,” said Kentucky Public Advocate Ed Monahan.

Monahan says with more public defenders, cases will be resolved sooner.

The Governor's proposal also includes cuts to the judicial branch, which would likely result in the entire court system being shut down for 3 weeks, impacting the overall court process.

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