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
- Public Defense Improvement Program
- RCW 71.09 Civil Commitment
- Extraordinary Criminal Justice Costs
OPD cannot provide direct representation of clients, pursuant to RCW 2.70.020.
Workgroup on the Costs of Providing Misdemeanor Public Defense
At the request of the House Judiciary Committee, OPD has convened an interim workgroup to examine the cost of misdemeanour public defense in Washington’s courts of limited jurisdiction. The workgroup issued a report December 4..
FAQ on Implementation of the Supreme Court Standards for Indigent Defense
Certification to Misdemeanor Caseloads
The Washington Supreme Court has delayed misdemeanor caseload certification until January 1, 2015. Washington Supreme Court Order No. 25700-A-1016 (April 8, 2013) OPD has developed a Model Misdemeanor Case Weighting Policy to assist local jurisdictions that choose to use case weighting for calulating caseloads.
2014 Report on the Chapter 71.09 RCW Indigent Defense Representation Program
The 2014 Report on the Chapter 71.09 RCW Indigent Defense Representation Program, submitted pursuant to RCW 2.70.025 (6), provides updated data on program administration, and representation of sexually violent predators in civil commitment proceedings.