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.
Featured News: Juvenile Defense Training Academy
A 4-day course for juvenile attorneys, will begin this spring starting on April 29, 2017.
Application - Deadline to apply April 14, 2017
2016 Status Report on Local Criminal Public Defense Issues
The 2016 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.
Juvenile Defense Strategic Plan
OPD received grant funds from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to develop a strategic plan to improve juvenile defense services. The resulting report, Plan to Reform Public Defense Representation in Juvenile Offender Cases: Steps to Eliminate Justice by Geography , is based on the input of public defense attorneys statewide and other key juvenile justice system stakeholders.
Recorded Webinar: A Developmental Framework for Juvenile Cases
Presented by Dr. Marty Beyer. This one-hour session addresses the impact of immaturity, disabilities, and trauma on a young person before, during and after the offense. The class also focuses on designing developmentally-sound rehabilitation services for each adolescent. Click here to view.
OPD County Clerk Payment Policy
OPD has promulgated a new policy clarifying payment policies for superior court clerk's fees.
Tools for Implementing the Supreme Court's Standards for Indigent Defense