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Office of the Public Offender State of Maryland FY 2006 Annual Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
149 pages
This fiscal year 2006 annual report of Maryland's Office of the Public Defender (OPD) presents statewide and district data and information on public defender operations.
The mission of the Office of the Public Defender is "to provide superior legal representation to the indigent accused in the State of Maryland, to safeguard fundamental individual rights, and ensure access to the protections guaranteed by the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Maryland Constitution and Declaration of Rights, and the laws of Maryland." A description of OPD operations notes that with the adoption of the Caseloads Initiative, the OPD has reduced caseloads; deployed an information technology case-management system that collects accurate, useful workload data statewide that will improve attorney and support-staff efficiency; and has begun implementing newly created OPD-specific caseload standards. In fiscal 2006, two pilot projects were begun that involved a team approach to representing clients. The team includes an attorney, an investigator, a law clerk, and a social worker. For the first time, a social worker experienced in juvenile work and a social worker experienced in dealing with adult clients have been allocated to each district. District offices are being encouraged to participate in community outreach and to develop partnerships with relevant agencies that can assist clients. OPD has partnered with the Maryland Legal Aid Bureau for the purpose of cross-referring clients whose needs cannot be met by OPD alone. The defense of juveniles is a top priority. Reports are provided on general administration, the Information Technology Division, the Training Division, the Recruitment/Hiring Division, the Innocence Project, the Juvenile Client Services Division, and the Forensics Division. Data and information are provided on public-defender operations in each district. Extensive figures and tables and appended supplementary data and information