Issue 193, August 20, 2023

This week, we heard from Charlie Cofer, Public Defender District 4. Cofer was a judge prior to running for Public Defender and stepped down in November 2015 so he could run for this office. His main priority was to provide representation for those who could not afford it.

His staff has about 85 lawyers that cover all areas of law and work at different times, every day of the week. Convicts need representation even on the weekends. This could happen at any time when someone has their first appearance before a judge. This action is typically now done by video.

Cofer wanted to make sure we understood the difference between a jail and a prison. A jail is a facility for people awaiting trial. Ours was built for 2100 inmates but currently has 3600. A prison is for people who have been through the system and is serving time.

He has ideas on where he’d like to see a new jail–close to the courthouse. He feels that this is a necessity with attorney’s having to go back and forth during negotiations. Also, there is an average of 600 inmates going back and forth on a daily basis.

Interesting factoid: Duval County is the 7th most populated county in Florida; however, it has the most people in our state’s prison. Not something I’d like to brag about.

This week, please join us as we hear from John Rutherford, 4th District House of Representatives. We saw Rutherford recently but now will have our chance to get caught up with DC and ask our burning questions. Please don’t forget to bring a gift card donation for our raffle, as well as a door prize to get your company recognized. Bring a guest and share our network. See you on Wednesday.

Jeanne Maron
2023 President

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