SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon has only roughly one-third of the public defense attorneys it needs to provide reasonably effective assistance to low-income defendants.
A committee of the American Bar Association and a major accounting firm concluded that in a new report. The Oregon Project report was requested and financed by the Legislature and found that Oregon only has 31% of the public defenders it needs to provide professional representation for their clients.
Researchers also found that the Oregon Office of Public Defense Services has significant data deficiencies that prevent the agency from providing meaningful oversight.
They recommended the state invest in a centralized data system for all public defense attorneys.