Scott applauds inaugural meeting of Indigent Defense Advisory Committee

HARRISBURG, Feb. 13 – State Rep. Greg Scott today applauded Gov. Josh Shapiro and the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency following the inaugural meeting of Indigent Defense Advisory Committee Monday. 

The Indigent Defense Advisory Committee will develop statewide standards and a statewide funding system for indigent defense services -- providing legal representation for those who cannot afford it on their own. 

“Last week we heard from Governor Shapiro as he proposed his 2024-25 budget. His plan for this budget builds on the $7.5 million investment in indigent defense, the first time in state history that funding was secured to guarantee public defenders with the necessary resources to provide legal representation to defendants who cannot afford it themselves” said Scott, D-Montgomery.  

“In the community where I live, we have people who have systematically not had a fair shake in our criminal justice system. As a magisterial district judge, I was proud to have helped see to the creation of Montgomery County’s Pre-Trial Service program, which guarantees that everyone has an attorney at the time of their arrest, and now, as a state representative, I am happy to help make sure they can pay for it. Having an attorney represent you is a constitutional right, not just in some states but in all states, and it’s time we do our part to make that a reality.”

The 2024-25 budget proposes a $2.5 million increase for indigent defense funding, for a total of $10 million to be funded through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency and the Indigent Defense Advisory Committee.  

“The justice system should provide fair and equal treatment to all, and those unable to afford legal defense reduce their chances of receiving it. To build equity, sustained, dedicated funding for public defenders is crucial, and the time to invest is now,” said Scott. “The Indigent Defense Advisory Committee will ensure that individuals accused of a crime can afford an attorney with the necessary resources, training, and team to provide competent representation, regardless of the defendant’s county or financial status.” 

Residents can visit the PCCD website to stay up to date on the latest news related to the Indigent Defense Advisory Committee.