Melanie Morgan, the District of Kansas CJA Representative, was elected to DSAG -- the national Defender Services Advisory Group, representing both the Tenth and the Eighth Circuits. This group is comprised of eight CJA district representatives and eight federal defenders. Each serves a four-year term. The group reviews and vets new policies and procedures and other matters related to the Criminal Justice Act, and makes recommendations to the Defender Services Committee. Kansas is fortunate to have a strong advocate at the national level.
The conference provided much information on possible reforms to the Criminal Justice Act, primarily regarding judicial involvement in selection and payment of counsel, as well as review and approval of service providers. Members of the Cardone Committee were present to discuss their study and how they are gathering information for their report. More on that later.