This year marks the 50th anniversary of a landmark Supreme Court decision: Gideon v. Wainwright in which the justices ruled, unanimously, that defendants in criminal cases deserved legal representation in state courts. If defendants could not afford counsel, the state would have to provide it. Those lawyers are known as public defenders. A new HBO documentary, Gideon's Army, follows three black public defenders working in the Deep South. It airs on Monday.
Jeannett Escarcega shows her son, John, 4, a photo on her mobile phone in their east Denver apartment on Sunday, May 9, 2013. Escarcega encountered the "cliff effect" after accepting a $14.00 an hour job that triggered the loss of $500 in monthly food stamp support and even more in child care assistance (which was later reinstated for a $350 per month fee).
Credit Joe Mahoney / I-News
Perhaps the most important of the welfare reform measures passed by Congress 17 years ago doesn’t serve three-fourths of working poor families in Colorado according to an I-News analysis.
Jasmine Chestnut at her internship at the Center for American Progress in Washington. An at-risk student, Chestnut had almost given up on college when a nonprofit network supported by the government's Social Innovation Fund helped her get back on track.
"We're going to use this fund to find the most promising nonprofits in America," he said when announcing the plan. "We'll examine their data and rigorously evaluate their outcomes. We'll invest in those with the best results that are the most likely to provide a good return on our taxpayer dollars."