Category Archives: Pennsylvania

New Jersey Public Defenders Sue to Keep Clients Nearby

From the Philadelphia Inquirer:

New Jersey’s public defenders are going to court to stop Gloucester County from closing its county jail and splitting its 250 to 350 inmates among four other county jails, including one in Newark…

“This could be a nightmare for public defenders who have 100 indictable cases and 100 files in one stage or another, and who struggle to see their clients in a jail that’s right next to their office,” said the attorney representing the public defenders, Justin T. Loughry, of Loughry & Lindsay L.L.C. in Camden.

“This case raises extremely important constitutional issues,” including the right to due process and the right to the effective assistance of attorneys, said Loughry, a former public defender…

The public defenders rely on jail visits to get familiar with the cases because there is no space at the courthouse for attorney-client conversations, the suit says.

Space for attorney-client conversations is also limited at the other jails. Because inmates could be moved without warning, the attorneys would have to try to locate their clients each time they would want to talk or send a letter.