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Public Defenders Audit Released

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) – Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich is raising concerns about how the public defender system tracks its caseloads.Schweich said Wednesday the public defender system’s methods would tend to overstate the workload. Among the concerns raised in the audit is that the public defender’s system uses national caseload standards from 1973 without tracking staff time spent on different types of cases.The public defender system said in a written response attached with the audit that it agrees the current caseload protocol can be improved. Officials say they want to ensure public defenders are not handling too many cases. They also want to make sure the system helps without creating a risk for more cases to be rejected than necessary.

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