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March 30, 2007 | Jenny Jarvie, Times Staff Writer
When Georgia instituted a statewide public defender system in 2005, human rights groups praised it as a milestone in ensuring that poor criminal defendants received their constitutional right to a fair trial. Until then, counties determined how indigent people would be represented. In some counties, the courts operated like assembly lines, with defendants pleading guilty after talking with their appointed lawyers for a few minutes.
March 30, 2007 | Mary Engel, Times Staff Writer
Los Angeles County received a $162-million federal grant Thursday for a three-year program to help low-income adults with no medical insurance manage chronic illnesses. The California Department of Health Services awarded grants to 10 counties for innovative approaches to improving the quality of care while reining in costs.
January 28, 2007 | Kathy M. Kristof, Times Staff Writer
Anna Escobedo Cabral knows what it is like to be poor. The 47-year-old treasurer of the United States grew up in San Bernardino. The eldest of five children, Cabral said her dad moved from job to job -- picking up garbage, working in the laundry room at a mental institution, toiling as a fry cook and finally as a chef. When she was 16, money was so tight that Cabral decided to drop out of high school and apply for full-time jobs to help support her family.
December 12, 2006 | Gregory W. Griggs, Times Staff Writer
Providing better assistance to indigents discharged from hospitals, teens transitioning from foster care and former jail and prison inmates reentering society are among the things Ventura County agencies can do to prevent homelessness and help end the problem within a decade, advocates said Monday.
December 7, 2006 | Susannah Rosenblatt, Times Staff Writer
It was small, what he came to see: just a humble metal marker in the dusty grass that read "1978." That's the year Lance Georgeson's father died, alone and unbeknownst to the family he had left long ago. And so his estranged son stood Wednesday morning -- in the acre-sized patch where Los Angeles County buries its unclaimed dead in common graves -- to finally say goodbye.
October 11, 2006 | From the Associated Press
States are getting relief when it comes to providing healthcare for the poor. Spending on Medicaid, a state-federal partnership, rose by an average of 2.8% in fiscal year 2006, the lowest rate in a decade. Meanwhile, state revenue rose 3.7%. That's good news for patients, who could see more services covered, and for healthcare providers, who could conceivably get a raise, according to officials from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
October 7, 2006 | From the Associated Press
A judge upset by the backlog of cases since Hurricane Katrina decided to release four New Orleans inmates from jail Friday and postpone their trials until they can get adequate representation from the spread-thin public defender's office. District Judge Arthur Hunter warned that more releases could be coming, criticizing what he called the city's decades-long failure to protect the rights of poor defendants. "It's only gotten worse since Hurricane Katrina," he said.
October 3, 2006 | From the Associated Press
Massachusetts began signing up its poorest residents for low-cost health insurance Monday, the beginning step in the state's goal to be the first to require all citizens to have health insurance. "This is a historic day for us," said Gov. Mitt Romney, who signed the state's new health care law in April. "It's real today." Madeline Rhenisch, 56, will be among about 62,000 of the state's poorest residents, living at or below the federal poverty line of about $9,800 a year, offered the program.
September 8, 2006 | Carla Rivera, Times Staff Writer
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Thursday signed legislation that provides $50 million to expand preschool opportunities for thousands of low-income children. The money will target preschools operated by school districts and nonprofit organizations in neighborhoods where students score in the lowest three deciles of the Academic Performance Index.
August 18, 2006 | Erika Hayasaki, Times Staff Writer
Ever since she was a little girl, Betsy Perez had known she wanted to go to college some place far away. Some place different from Highland Park, where she lived. In second grade, she wrote in a journal that one day she would attend Harvard. Always, Betsy's father dismissed his daughter's grand plans with a soft smile. Sergio Perez, a truck driver, knew his children would have great opportunities. That was why he left Guatemala for the United States.
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