Connecticut General Statutes 51-291 – Duties of the Chief Public Defender
The Chief Public Defender shall:
Terms Used In Connecticut General Statutes 51-291
- Habeas corpus: A writ that is usually used to bring a prisoner before the court to determine the legality of his imprisonment. It may also be used to bring a person in custody before the court to give testimony, or to be prosecuted.
- Public defender: Represent defendants who can't afford an attorney in criminal matters.
- Trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.
(1) Direct and supervise the work of the Deputy Chief Public Defender and all public defenders, assistant public defenders, deputy assistant public defenders and other personnel appointed pursuant to this chapter; and the Chief Public Defender and the Deputy Chief Public Defender may participate in the trial of criminal actions.
(2) Submit to the commission, prior to December thirty-first of each year, a report which shall include all pertinent data on the operation of the Division of Public Defender Services, the costs, projected needs, and recommendations for statutory changes, including changes in the civil and criminal law, and changes in court rules, which may be appropriate to the improvement of the system of criminal justice, the rehabilitation of offenders, the representation of children and parents or guardians in child protection and family relations matters and other related objectives. Prior to February first of the following year, the commission shall submit the report along with such recommendations, comments, conclusions or other pertinent information it chooses to make, to the Chief Justice, the Governor and the members of the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to the judiciary. The reports shall be public records, shall be maintained in the office of Chief Public Defender and shall be otherwise distributed as the commission shall direct.
(3) With the approval of the commission, establish such divisions, facilities and offices and select such professional, technical and other personnel, including investigators, as the Chief Public Defender deems reasonably necessary for the efficient operation and discharge of the duties of public defender services under this chapter, subject to the personnel policies and compensation plan established by the commission.
(4) Administer, coordinate and control the operations of public defender services and be responsible for the overall supervision and direction of all personnel, offices, divisions and facilities of the Division of Public Defender Services.
(5) Develop programs and administer activities to achieve the purposes of this chapter.
(6) At the discretion of the Chief Public Defender, consult and cooperate with professional bodies and groups concerning the causes of criminal conduct, means for reducing the commission of crimes, the rehabilitation and correction of those convicted of crimes, and the improvement of the administration and conduct of public defender services.
(7) Keep and maintain proper financial records with respect to the providing of all public defender services for use in the calculating of direct and indirect costs of any or all aspects of the operation of public defender services.
(8) Supervise the training of all public defenders, assistant public defenders, deputy assistant public defenders, Division of Public Defender Services assigned counsel and other personnel and establish such training courses as shall be appropriate.
(9) Promulgate necessary rules, regulations and instructions, consistent with this chapter, defining the organization of his office and the responsibilities of public defenders, assistant public defenders, deputy assistant public defenders and other personnel.
(10) With the approval of the commission, apply for and accept on behalf of the Division of Public Defender Services any funds that may be offered or that may become available from government grants, private gifts, donations or bequests, or from any other source, and with the approval of the commission expend the funds to carry out the purposes of this chapter.
(11) Maintain one or more lists of trial lawyers who may be available to represent persons in habeas corpus proceedings arising from criminal matters, or to represent juveniles in delinquency matters before the court, or to represent parents or guardians and children in child protection and family relations matters pursuant to subsection (c) of § 51-296, or to represent persons in other appropriate matters on a case by case basis, as needed, which lawyers shall be selected by a judge of the court before which the matter is to be heard.
(12) Establish compensation for lawyers selected under subdivision (11) of this section for their services with the approval of the commission, to be paid from the budget of the Public Defender Services Commission.
(13) Prepare and submit to the commission estimates of appropriations necessary for the maintenance and operation of public defender services, and make recommendations with respect thereto; and with the approval of the commission, and after such modification as the commission directs, submit the budget requests to the Governor.