Today on the show, Hunter spoke with Michael Smith, an Assistant Public Defender in Chattooga County, Georgia, to talk about the unique challenges he faces as a rural public defender. After college and law school took him away from his home in Chattooga, County, Michael Smith returned home with a new found understanding of the inequities his community faced.

As the only public defender in the county, Michael is responsible for ensuring the rights of every person in the county are protected. As if that burden was not enough, the county, like so many rural areas of the country, suffers from a severe drought of mental health and transportation services that are essential to assisting people escape the cycle of legal system interactions. If we are to solve the nation’s Public Defense crisis, we will need to come up with solutions to get desperately needed resources and services to rural and urban public defenders alike.|EQUALS|1000596271189