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									                            Discretionary Indigent Defense Grant Program Progress Report
                                               Grant Number: 212-06-D06, Val Verde County
                                     Fiscal Year of Grant: 2006; Reporting Period March 1-May 31, 2006
                                      Val Verde County Regional Public Defender Program
                                        Under Contract With Texas RioGrande Legal Aid
                                               Submitted by TRLA to Val Verde County, June 10, 2006
                                                        for the Month Ending May 31, 2006

       Issue or Task              Definition                         Detail
Establish oversight board                         [County provides info]
Requests for Proposal (RFP)                       [County provides info]

Select PD Proposal                                [County provides info]
Appoint Chief Public Defender                     Contract executed with TRLA 3/31/06;
(CPD)                                             Joseph Cordova hired as Chief Public
                                                  Defender eff. 5/1/06
Office Setup                                      Office space rented by TRLA at
                                                  902 E. 11th St.,
                                                  Del Rio, TX 78840;
                                                  Telephones (830) 774-9601
                                                  Furnishings installed and open for business
                                                  on 5/1/06.

Software setup                                    TRLA case management system ("Client
                                                  Tracking System" or "CTS") modified for
                                                  RPD use; criminal case module developed;
                                                  operational on 5/1/06

Performance measure method                        Data for referrals to courts and
                                                  performance measures is maintained by
                                                  CTS; no other data elements need to be
                                                  tracked independently; new fields were
                                                  added to the CTS for that purpose and
                                                  others will be added as necessary;
                                                  operational on 5/1/06.

Staff will be trained                             2 attorneys, 1 investigator and 1 secretary
                                                  have been hired and trained on the
                                                  operation of the CTS, TRLA employment
                                                  practices and office procedures.
                                                  Continuing legal education courses will be
                                                  attended by attorneys and by the licensed
                                                  private investigator(s).

Policies and Procedures                           Draft of Investigator manual was completed
completed and provided to staff                   and used in training of Investigator; TRLA
                                                  Office Manual provided for orientation of all
                                                  staff; additional information regarding
                                                  caseload controls will be provided in June,

Begin serving defendants                          Began operations on 5/1/06 with
                                                  assignment of first clients from Val Verde
                                                  County; received first assignment of clients
                                                  from Edwards County on 5/16/06.

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    Issue or Task                  Definition                      Detail                                 Report Fields
                                                                                                 Total   Felony   Misdemeanor   Juvenile
Total number of people                          (Persons whose cases were assigned to
receiving services of program                   the RPD for representation )                      60      32          13          13

Total number screened and                       (Persons who were interviewed for eligibility
assessed by RPD staff                           screening and conflict of interest analysis)      62      32          13          15

RPD active cases this quarter
                                                                                                  68      34          14          14
Cases closed                                                                                      0        0           0           0
Average caseload per attorney                   (end of month)
                                                                                                  34       0           0           0
Average length of time
between arrest and case                                                                           0        0           0           0

Written Portion
     Issue or Task                 Definition                      Detail
Summary of work or issues                       The most obvious accomplishment during
during the quarter                              this quarter was getting the office
                                                operational only 31 days after signing the
                                                contract between TRLA and Val Verde
                                                County. Edwards County was also added
                                                to the RPD program during the first month
                                                of operation, making this a truly regional
                                                PD program. The staff is adequate for the
                                                current caseload, but needs to be
                                                increased in the next 2-3 months as the
                                                caseload increases.

Conduct Site visit                              In establishing an effective
                                                videoconferencing system for the RPD,
                                                TRLA will review operating systems in
                                                place in other locations during the next 30-
                                                45 days, planning to have a system in place
                                                by the end of July, 2006.

Establish a project team                        The project team for establishing a
                                                videoconferencing system in Del Rio and
                                                Rocksprings is David Hall, Ricardo Perez
                                                and Joseph Resurreccion of the TRLA IT

Written Portion
Problem areas and resolution                    No major problems have been encountered
                                                yet. There are some infrastructure issues
                                                related to high-speed internet access in Del
                                                Rio and Rocksprings that need to be
                                                addressed in order to create a VoIP
                                                telephone system, data transmission and
                                                videoconferencing system at a reasonable

Activities scheduled during next                Hiring a First Assistant and one more
reporting period:                               beginning lawyer will be a priority over the
                                                next 30-60 days, as well as getting the
                                                internet infrastructure in place. In addition,
                                                TRLA will be working on the creation of
                                                protocols for the representation of clients
                                                with mental illness, with particular
                                                emphasis on diverting them from the
                                                criminal justice system whenever
                                                appropriate and into treatment facilities and

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Detailed Project Plan            TRLA is working with an experienced
                                 vendor from San Antonio to establish the
                                 videoconferencing system, and with
                                 another vendor on the VoIP telephone
Vendor Selection                 Vendor selection for both of the above
                                 technology systems has already been made

Written Portion
Staff changes                    Joseph Cordova, formerly of the office of
                                 the Federal Public Defender in Del Rio,
                                 was hired 5/1/06 as the Chief Public
                                 Defender. James McDermott, a 2004
                                 graduate of the University of Texas School
                                 of Law and former briefing attorney at the
                                 3rd Texas Court of Appeals, began work on
                                 5/15/06. Raul Soto, a licensed private
                                 investigator from Del Rio, was hired as the
                                 Investigator effective 5/22/06.

Update existing infrastructure   Office space was rented, telephones were
                                 installed, a temporary printer/copy machine
                                 was installed, wiring for a local area
                                 network was installed, and computers for
                                 all staff were loaded with software and
                                 installed, and the staff was trained on the
                                 CTS. All of that was accomplished in the
                                 31 days after the contract was signed with
                                 the county, and the office was operational
                                 by 5/1/06. The permanent high-speed
                                 scanner/copier/printer is to be installed in
                                 June 2006, and the VoIP telephone system
                                 is to be in place by August 2006.

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