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Seg. 1: Public Defenders' Mental Health | Seg. 2: LaunchCode Kansas City

Segment 1: Heavy caseloads and long hours are taking a toll on Missouri's public defenders.

Officials say public defenders in Kansas City, Missouri, are sometimes handling more than 100 cases at a time, and staffing and workload situations have been dire for years. We speak with leaders of the public defender's office to find out how those pressures are affecting attorneys' mental health and the ability of clients to get a fair trial.

Segment 2, beginning at 21:10: Coding converts are helping fill the need for tech workers.

Whether you got a weaving degree in college and are looking for a new professional direction, or maybe you just always had an interest in computers, coding could be the key to advancing your career. One nonprofit, rooted in Missouri, is helping folks in Kansas City make the jump.

  • John Woolbright, LaunchCode Kansas City candidate engagement manager
  • Bonnie Why, LaunchCode graduate and technology apprentice, VMLY&R
  • Sally Kramer, LaunchCode graduate and assistant administrator, Commerce Bank

Copyright 2021 KCUR 89.3. To see more, visit KCUR 89.3.

Steve Kraske is an associate teaching professor of journalism at UMKC, a political columnist for The Kansas City Star and has hosted "Up to Date" since 2002. He worked as the full-time political correspondent for The Star from 1994-2013 covering national, state and local campaigns. He also has covered the statehouses in Topeka and Jefferson City.
Luke X. Martin is an assistant producer for KCUR's Up To Date.