Cook County Budget Cuts Could Threaten Fundamental Rights of Indigent Defendants

Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice and the Chicago Council of Lawyers strongly urged the County Board to refrain from cutting budgets of the Cook County Public Defender’s and State’s Attorney’s offices in a public letter yesterday.

Cuts to the Public Defender’s budget would threaten the constitutional rights of Cook County residents accused of crimes and cause greater economic and social costs than the amount saved through cuts. Cuts to the State’s Attorney’s Office budge would undermine vital reform efforts that would make the court system transparent, equitable and just.

Already implemented budget cuts have already had negative impacts on both the Public Defender’s and State’s Attorney’s offices. Further cuts would be detrimental to necessary initiatives and reforms currently underway in Cook County and Chicago Appleseed sincerely hopes that the Board of Commissioners will take this into consideration when making their decision.

Click here to read the Appleseed CCL County Budget Letter to the Cook County Board of Commissioners.