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Ohio Public Defender News

Press Releases and Other Information from the Office of the Ohio Public Defender

Stephen.Goldmeier
Stephen.Goldmeier's Article

Upcoming Workshop: "Working with Clients with Mental Illness and Intellectual Disability"

On June 21 and June 23, the Office of the Ohio Public Defender is co-sponsoring a workshop entitled "Working with Clients with Mental Illness and Intellectual Disability." This one-day course is free of charge and is offered by the Criminal Justice Coordinating Center of Excellence. The program is funded by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. The course is designed to provide tools, material, and knowledge to lawyers to better represent clients with mental illness or intellectual disabilities.


The course is open to public defenders and assigned counsel in counties that have passed a "Stepping Up" resolution. More details on the "Stepping Up" initiative here. For more information about the program, read the invitation here. Click here to register for the June 21 session, and click here to register for the June 23 session.

50th Anniversary of In re Gault: Proposed Juvenile Rule Change

May 15th, 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in In re Gault, 387 U.S. 1. In conjunction with this celebration, the Children’s Law Center, ACLU of Ohio, and Ohio Public Defender are requesting an amendment to Ohio Juvenile Rule of Procedure 3 to strengthen a child’s right to counsel. Read more about the proposed amendment, the amendment itself, a letter of support for the amendment from the National Juvenile Defender Center, and some statistics on the problem this rule aims to fix. Read on to learn more about the Gault decision.

Announcing: The Criminalizing Poverty Homepage

In the past few years, our nation has become increasingly aware of the phenomenon known as the "criminalization of poverty." When facing criminal charges, indigent defendants can be held in jail simply because they cannot pay for their freedom. Poor defendants can subsequently feel coerced into pleading guilty as a way to restore their freedom as quickly as possible. Ultimately, indigent defendants can be forced to pay hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars in court costs and fees, thus perpetuating—and deepening—their financial straits. To help address this problem, the Office of the Ohio Public Defender has launched the Criminalizing Poverty Homepage.