MN criminal justice policymakers brace for major cuts as state faces $6.2B deficit

BY Jon Mosher on Wednesday, January 19, 2011 at 11:01 AM

Today's Star-Tribune has an important story chronicling the impact Minnesota’s $6.2 billion deficit has had upon the state’s justice system.  Cuts in funding in recent years continue to strain the state’s already beleaguered public defender system.  Stakeholders are bracing themselves for even more budget cuts this coming year.  

"I cannot overestimate the importance of this issue," said Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie Gildea. "The success of our democracy depends on a vibrant, fully functioning justice system ... We can't put the people in prison that we're afraid of if we don't have an adequately funded justice system."

Gideon Alert: MN judge will not let PDs out of open cases, but authorizes office to hire attorneys and bill state

BY David Carroll on Thursday, August 19, 2010 at 9:20 AM

On April 13, 2010, Gideon Alerts reported on Minnesota Public Defenders filing a labor grievance over high caseloads.  An 89-page report from the state legislative auditor states that heavy public defender workload impedes the efficiency of the courts, yet the legislature has not acted to provide relief. 

Gideon Alert: Minnesota public defenders file grievance over workload

BY David Carroll on Tuesday, April 13, 2010 at 12:56 PM

The Star Tribune reports that line public defenders in 11 Minnesota counties have filed a labor grievance over excessive workload.  The grievance sites a February 2010