Loan Repayment Grants Targeted For Prosecutors, Public Defenders - Yankton Press & Dakotan: Community

Loan Repayment Grants Targeted For Prosecutors, Public Defenders

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Posted: Friday, March 21, 2014 11:03 pm

PIERRE — South Dakota Attorney General Marty J. Jackley is accepting applications for the fourth year of an education-loan repayment program available to eligible prosecutors and public defenders.

The application period for the John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program is open now through March 31. The federally funded program is an incentive for prosecutors and public defenders to remain in public service. State prosecutors and state or federal public defenders in South Dakota may qualify for student-loan repayment if they sign a three-year service agreement.

The goal of the program is to recruit qualified attorneys to government service and to encourage those attorneys to remain in the public sector in spite of strong financial incentives in the private sector.

“Many prosecutors and public defenders have significant debt when they finish their education,” Jackley said. “Both victims of crime and those accused of crimes are best served if they are assured access to the highest caliber of legal representation. The John R. Justice Program encourages and assists dedicated public defenders and prosecutors to remain serving the public.”

Student loan debt is consistently mentioned as the overwhelming reason attorneys either leave positions as prosecutors and public defenders or decline such positions in the first place.

Applications are due by March 31. Eligibility information and applications are available at the Office of Attorney General website at: http://atg.sd.gov/Home/JohnRJusticeGrantProgram.aspx/.

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