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Oregon's Public Defense Under Fire

The state agency that oversees Oregon’s public defense is the subject of an alarming report. Coraggio Group of Portland was hired by the state to review Oregon Office of Public Defense Services. The agency was found to be having trouble executing basic functions, and for failing to hold lawyers accountable for their work, among other problematic findings. The report was released during crisis with public defense in Oregon and includes scathing comments from lawyers, investigators and others who provide services to indigent defendants throughout the state. A separate report by the American Bar Association found Oregon’s public defense system needs to hire an additional 1,300 lawyers to meet the demands of the criminal justice system.

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