House Passes Scott Measure to Provide Loan Repayment Assistance
Scott Leads House Lawmakers with Legislation to Ensure Fair and Efficient Justice System
House Passes Scott Measure to Provide Loan Repayment Assistance for Prosecutors and Public Defenders
Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed the John R. Justice Prosecutors and Defenders Act of 2007 (H.R. 916), which is authored by Congressman Scott, by a 341-73 vote.
“A serious situation is emerging impacting public safety, justice, fairness and the integrity of the criminal justice system, as a severe shortage of qualified prosecutors and public defenders looms large over our entire nation,” Congressman Scott said. “In Georgia and throughout the country, the recruitment and retention of public prosecutors and defenders has been a daunting task in recent years. This is largely because crushing student debt burdens have deterred many talented law graduates from pursuing public service careers.”
The bipartisan John R. Justice Prosecutors and Defenders Act of 2007 would benefit our criminal justice system and our communities by creating a student loan repayment program for law school graduates who commit to serve for at least three years as criminal prosecutors or public defenders. The bill was introduced on the Senate side by Senator Richard Durbin, cosponsors include: Senators Arlen Specter, Patrick Leahy, Gordon Smith, John Kerry and Susan Collins.
“Our communities suffer when the criminal justice system lacks a sufficient supply of experienced prosecutors and defenders,” Scott added. “Criminal caseloads become unmanageable, cases can be delayed or mishandled, serious crimes may go unprosecuted, and innocent defendants may be sent to jail while guilty criminals go free. This bill will bolster the ranks of talented attorneys in the criminal justice system and help that system function more effectively.”
This legislation is supported by the American Bar Association, the National District Attorneys Association, the National Association of Prosecutor Coordinators, the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.