Sometimes, when I'm in the middle of all the muckety muck of this job, I miss important things. It's the arraignment calendar, and I'm entering pleas of not guilty, asking for adjustments to conditions of release, setting trial dates, blah blah blah. Then, not unlike what happens at other arraignment calendars, I convince the judge to release a client on personal recognizance who had previously been ordered held on bail. That feels good, and then on to the next case. But then, I'm back in my office, and I'm sorting through the morning files, and I move the kid's file from my "in custody" file drawer to my "out of custody" file drawer, and it finally hits me. I got that kid out of jail (okay, detention, but it's the same difference). He was locked up. And because of what I said and did, he's now free. It's a normal, everyday part of this job, but that doesn't make it any less important or valuable to that individual person. It's good to stop and remind myself of that every once and a while.
Labels: my cases, public defenders