Louisiana is in need of about five times the current number of public defenders.
A study released earlier this month by the American Bar Association and a Baton Rouge consulting company shows the state has about 360 full-time public defense lawyers. The ABA estimates Louisiana needs more than 1700 public defenders to meet current needs.
The ABA's president says the study shows that current public defenders are in "grave jeopardy" of being unable to provide competent counsel to clients.
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