The mission of the Washington State Office of Public Defense (OPD) is "to implement the constitutional and statutory guarantees of counsel and to ensure the effective and efficient delivery of indigent defense services funded by the state... ." RCW 2.70.005. Established by the Legislature in 1996, OPD is an independent agency of the judicial branch.
OPD administers indigent defense services in the following areas:
- Appellate Program
- Parents Representation Program
- RCW 71.09 Civil Commitment
- Extraordinary Criminal Justice Costs
- Public Defense Improvement Program
OPD cannot provide direct representation of clients, pursuant to RCW 2.70.020.
OPD County Clerk Payment Policy
OPD has promulgated a new policy clarifying payment policies for superior court clerk's fees.
Juvenile Practice Training: Adolescent Development and Trauma
Working with juvenile offender cases requires a specialized understanding of the influences that impact adolescents' behavior and their potential for rehabilitation. With the generous help of grant funds from OJJDP, OPD is offering a free training for teams who work with juveniles in offender cases to develop a shared understanding, vocabulary, and approach for integrating scientific findings on adolescent brain development and trauma into local policy and practice. More information and online registration.
Chapter 10.101 RCW City and County Public Defense Improvement Funds
The City and County 2016 Application for Public Defense Improvement Funding in calendar year 2017 are now available.
2015 Status Report on Local Criminal Public Defense Issues
The 2015 Status Report on Public Defense in Washington State discusses recent trends in criminal public defense services, highlights annual accomplishments of OPD's Defense Improvement Program, and lists counties' and cities' statistics relating to public defense services..
Tools for Implementing the Supreme Court's Standards for Indigent Defense