Please let this be true that more money will come for indigent defense and CASA/GAL’s.
As the Indiana Lawyer is reporting, rising caseloads and the implementation of Indiana Criminal Procedure Rule 25 will result in the need for millions of dollars to appoint public defenders around the state. As an example of the increasing need for public defenders, Jasper Superior Court Judge James Ahler estimated that “after January 1, [2015,] public defenders will be needed in 40 percent more juvenile cases in Jasper County.” Jasper County is just one of many rural counties with an estimated 2013 population of 33,389.
Public defenders are paid for out of county funds, unless the county participate in the Indiana Public Defender Commission. For those 54 of 92 counties, the county is reimbursed 40% of the cost of indigent defense out of state funds.
An additional stress on the juvenile court system is that state funding for CASA/GAL’s has remained stagnant, with “about 5,000 children on waiting lists” for a CASA or GAL appointment. Leslie Dunn, the state GAL/CASA Director spoke about the need for additional funding for CASA and GAL programs in the next budget during the September 9, 2014 Department of Child Services Oversight Committee meeting.
For additional information on the need for early appointment of counsel, see the link to resources at the top of the page.