Vera Institute of Justice on President Biden’s Expansion of Access to Legal Representation and the Courts

Yesterday President Biden signed a presidential memorandum to reestablish the White House Legal Aid Interagency Roundtable and restore the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Access to Justice. In response, Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a memo that prioritized low-income and communities of color as most in need of access to justice.

Vera Institute of Justice President Nicholas Turner issued the following statement in support:

“President Biden’s directive is an important acknowledgment of the racial disparities inherent in the U.S. criminal legal and immigration systems. Now, the White House and the Department of Justice must take action. Vera calls on the federal government to use the Access to Justice Office to invest in and support prosecutors to use their power to end racism in the legal system; fund robust public defense, including deportation defense for immigrants; and end the harms of the money bail system and unjust fines and fees. These commitments are necessary to make our immigration and criminal legal systems fairer for all.”