How is Vermont addressing public defender shortage?

Published: Dec. 6, 2022 at 6:04 PM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Many state public defender offices blame the current shortage of attorneys on the pandemic and the great resignation that followed. But many who quit the profession say that low pay and lack of funding forced them to leave a job they loved.

Most state public defender offices are chronically understaffed, leaving defendants waiting months without legal representation, some languishing behind bars waiting for their day in court. But many who quit the profession say that low pay and lack of funding forced them to leave a job they loved.

Darren Perron spoke with Vermont Defender General Matthew Valerio about how the shortage of lawyers has impacted the Vermont bar and what is being done to address the problem.