Maine defense lawyers were routinely recorded by four county jails in the past year while having confidential conversations with clients. The majority of county jails, however, are refusing to hand over call records.
While the state’s public defense agency continues to study the scope of the breach by three county jails, the ACLU of Maine does not have plans to take legal or legislative action.
The coronavirus pandemic has stripped lawyers of the surest way to privately communicate with clients: face-to-face in a private room. Reliant on recorded phone lines and video conferencing systems, these attorney and client conversations are now at risk. And one just leaked.
Maine is reducing its jail population as the state aims to avoid potential exposure of staff and inmates to COVID-19, the illness widely known as coronavirus, inside its locked facilities.
Major reforms to Maine’s public defense system are expected to be delayed until at least 2021, after the Maine Commission on Indigent Legal Services missed its window to submit rule changes by more than five weeks.
Bail reform and making substance use disorder treatment available to Maine’s incarcerated population are among 15 criminal justice bills to be considered this legislative session.
As a yearlong probe into the financial management of Maine’s public defense system begins to take shape, here are the five things you need to know.
An investigation into how Maine pays private attorneys to represent the state’s poor in court unanimously passed the Government Oversight committee on Tuesday as lawmakers aim to separate “actual overbilling” from billing errors uncovered in the last three years.
Plea deals negotiated before defendants meet with the state’s free ‘Lawyer of the Day’ have Maine defense attorneys calling a constitutional foul.
Defense attorneys, criminal justice advocates and formerly incarcerated individuals share concerns about the Maine Commission on Indigent Legal Services during marathon public hearing.
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