This week on the Public Defenseless Podcast, I spoke with Chief Counsel for the Massachusetts Committee for Public Counsel Services Public Counsel Services, Anthony Benedetti. On previous episodes, I have mentioned the unique model employed in Massachusetts, but as a refresher, it uses contract counsel as the primary delivery method for indigent defense services. In most other places, a system that relies on contract counsel struggles mightily with oversight, training, and ensuring that each person assigned to a case is actually qualified to take that case. Thanks to Anthony and the CPCS, those issues are largely mitigated. 
If there was a primary contract counsel system that could deliver quality representation to every client, this would be what it looks like. Yet, for decades the state, despite providing large support for indigent defense, has not been able to offer competitive hourly salaries to these contract attorneys. As a result, finding attorneys willing to take on cases, especially in Western Mass, has grown harder and harder. Tune in to this episode to see what works, what doesn't, and what needs to change in Massachusetts Public Defense. 
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