Retiring Public Defender Wants State Officials To Focus On Mental Illness, Drug Reform

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Photo: Public Defenders Jame Holmes Trial
Public defenders walk with the defense team as they leave the Arapahoe County courthouse after a motions hearing for Aurora shooting suspect James Holmes on Thursday Aug. 9, 2012.

Doug Wilson saw the progress of poverty, mental illness and crime in Colorado from a unique lens as a long-term public defender. Wilson retired as State Public Defender on Aug. 1 after 12 years heading the department and decades more practicing law for Colorado's needy defendants. He talked to Colorado Matters about the lack of resources for people with mental illness and why the state's next governor should focus on drug-sentencing reform.