The state of Missouri will be adding 53 more public defenders if Governor Mike Parson makes no changes to the upcoming budget for the state’s Public Defender System.
Executive Director Mary Fox tells Missourinet it’s the largest staffing increase for her office since the late 1980s.
Fox also says there were 1-thousand cases on a waiting list for public defender services at the end of May, but when she started with the Public Defender System in January 2020, there were 58-hundred cases on that waiting list.
The 53 new public defenders are expected to reduce the 12-to-15-percent turnover rate now seen in Missouri.
The Missouri Legislature passed the fiscal plan for the new public defenders.
The next state budget for Missouri begins July 1st.