Oregon prosecutors press for higher caseloads for public defenders as jail release deadline looms

Oregon’s top prosecutors say increasing the caseloads of public defenders, raising the threshold for criminal defendants to qualify for a public defender and just hiring more lawyers would significantly reduce the number of people facing prosecution without a court-appointed attorney.

The blunt message from the Oregon District Attorneys Association comes on the heels of a major federal court ruling that ordered Washington County Sheriff Pat Garrett to release people from the county jail 10 days after their first court appearance if they do not have a lawyer.

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