Get Involved

NAPCO membership is open to presiding, chief and leadership judges, court executives and others …

Read more →

Improved justice for the poor as St. Louis County public defenders get help from private attorneys

Overburdened public defenders in St. Louis County are going to get some help from private attorneys courtesy of an order from Presiding Circuit Court Judge Douglas R. Beach. Beach has been meeting for months with criminal justice stakeholders to find ways to reduce defenders’ workloads. He has come up with an equitable solution to help make sure low-income defendants in county courts get the fair representation they deserve.

If a nation has no independent judiciary, rights are merely ’empty promises’

Judicial independence. Some have pointed out that a remarkable feature of this principle is how few words it takes to enunciate it, and how many years it takes to understand and implement it. Others speak reverently about the principle while referencing phrases such as “separation of powers” and “rule of law.” After 28 years of judicial experience, I now have a firm grasp of the principle of judicial independence. I am further aided in my understanding of the principle by looking at our nation’s history.

Bail industry battles reforms that threaten its livelihood

A little more than a year ago, New Jersey all but eliminated cash bail for criminal defendants, except for those charged with certain violent offenses. Since the reforms took effect January 1, 2017, the county jail population is down 16 percent, says then-attorney general Christopher Porrino, who left office on January 16, when the new governor was sworn in. And preliminary numbers show a 5 percent decrease in violent crime over the year.