Lehigh County officers gathered Wednesday to promote Saturday’s inaugural group Outreach Day, a free adventure providing residents access to meals, legal counsel and other county services.
The event is the brainchild of Public Defender Kim Makoul, who recognized that many of the defendants represented by way of her office necessary more than only a defense lawyer to extract themselves from the crook justice gadget. Too many individuals have been caught in a cycle of crime and punishment, using up incarceration quotes and charges to taxpayers while destroying lives and households.
“To be really effect representatives of our shoppers, we deserve to now not simplest contend with crook prices however to deal with the collateral harm,” she referred to.
County commissioners have purchased into her philosophy, agreeing to fund social laborers for her office to support defendants find the features or information that may aid stay away from their future crimes. Makoul desired to take the step additional by way of providing county residents a day the place they may receive free legal tips for some of their issues.
County executive Phillips Armstrong signed off on the thought, and other departments and branches of county govt made suggestions, ballooning the program. With food scarcity an argument at times all over the pandemic, the county has partnered with native grocery outlets and sponsors to make a meals financial institution accessible. Households that fell at the back of on their rent during the pandemic can consult with Catholic Charities a couple of apartment suggestions software. COVID-19 vaccines could be purchasable, as will individuals with PA CareerLink looking to assist americans find work.
“we hope that this Saturday could be the first of many outreach programs that Lehigh County is doing to assist the residents of Lehigh County,” Armstrong observed.
Saturday’s community Outreach Day will see attorneys offer tips to individuals who’ve had their licenses suspended. Dropping the privilege of driving can evade a person from finding work. A scarcity of earnings can lead defendants to fall in the back of on required courtroom funds and make it complex to retain a roof over their family unit’s head. Some defendants, however, may well be eligible to regain their licenses, which would aid them prevent a vicious cycle.
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Armstrong and Makoul talked about if all goes smartly, neighborhood Outreach Days may also develop into a habitual feature. Consumers of the public defender’s office often run into varied problems following their sentences, including issues on immigration or parental rights, Makoul spoke of. The county is calling to present capabilities to advise americans about their rights in these areas and others.
“we’re taking steps forward. It’s now not, ‘What did you do the day past?’ It’s ‘What are you doing day after today?’ ” Armstrong stated.