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The funds will be used to fund technology upgrades to support indigent defense.
PHILADELPHIA—State Senator Vincent Hughes (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery) joined Chief Defender Keir Bradford-Grey to announce the Defender Association of Philadelphia was the recipient of a $250,000 grant award.
The funding comes from the state’s Department of Education Job Training and Workforce Development grant and will be used to fund the association’s technological improvements in the form of mobile office kits, laptops, scanners and the replacement of 15-year-old network switches to continue to provide high-quality representation and educational programming.
The Defender Association has been recognized as one of three public defender offices in the entire country that has been able to leverage technology to defend clients. Bradford-Grey said the state funding will enhance these efforts by providing attorneys with ‘real-time’ remote access to case materials and accurate digital records; decreasing maintenance costs; and providing technical assistance to community-led neighborhood defense hubs.
“We live in a time where more and more information is digitized and stored virtually. From access to video surveillance footage to the information stored on smartphones, access to this information can make the difference between freedom or life in prison for the accused. ” Bradford- Grey said.
“If we truly want to balance the scales of justice in the information age, public defender’s must have access to the ever-changing technology to provide state-of-the-art representation for their clients,” Sen. Hughes said. “I am hopeful this grant will have a tremendous impact on our community and improve outcomes for their client and their families.”