People’s Legal Front

309 N. Jefferson, suite 220

Springfield, Missouri



May 26, 1999


RE: Greene County New Jail

Attention: Dave Coonrod

Dear Sir:

My name is Lee Martin, and I am the president of a non-profit organization called the People's Legal Front, Inc. I have a suggestion for your commission and hope that you will take the time to thoroughly examine it.

I believe that with the construction of a new jail, Greene County should consider moving the Public Defenders office from the Woodruff Building to this new Jail facility. The Public Defender presently has a Law Library and the Jail does not. I believe that you would kill several birds with one stone if this plan were properly implemented. You would have a public defender at the job site, after all the entire prosecutorial staff is in the courthouse. You would have a law library at the County jail, and more adequate representation for all accused of a crime in Greene County. You could have round the clock staffing at the location and thus eliminate the liability of jailers giving out legal advice, which weather you believe it or not will come back on the county sooner or later. You would be saving the rental expense that is going to the Woodruff Building and the resulting transportation costs. Public defenders would have ready access to clients that here to for are being denied access to counsel, which will come back on the county sooner or later. Presently the Public Defender does not accept collect phone calls, and therefore does not talk to the client who are incarcerated.

It should be noted that many of these individuals are only accused of a crime, and have not been convicted. The Miranda Right to Counsel must be posted in a spot in the booking area readily visible. I believe it would be better to just post a Public Defender in that spot instead of a phone number and the threat of charges as is presently done. I know that the Prosecution avail themselves of the freedom to be present in the county jail. The Prosecution does hand out legal advice, and even counsels law enforcement in the legal performance of their duties. It would be beneficial to all concerned to have professional defense counsel with legal facilities as available. We should not be a one sided society, with the goal to give a fair trial and hang them. Lets make Greene county the model for the rest of society. In light of the EC 2004 Project many a filing could be done in the jail facility via a computer. Many of the preliminary hearings done for the judiciary could be done from the jail facility via camera. I know in my own mind that you must be considering just these forms and types of facilities presently. Lets tell all of our people that legal reform begins here, and lead the way for Jackson and St. Louis Counties.



Lee Martin,


People's Legal Front Inc.