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Office of Public Defense

RCW 2.70

The Office of Public Defense is an independent judicial branch agency that implements the constitutional and statutory right to counsel. The Office of Public Defense Advisory Committee is composed of legislators, judicial representatives, attorneys, county and city representatives, and lay persons. The office is charged with administering state funds for trial court criminal indigent defense under chapter 10.101 RCW; appellate indigent defense, representation of indigent parents in dependency and termination cases under RCW 13.34.090 and 13.34.092; representation of indigent respondents in civil commitment cases under chapter 71.09 RCW; and with ensuring effective and efficient services and providing oversight and technical assistance for these programs. In addition, the Office of Public Defense administers extraordinary criminal justice cost petitions pursuant to RCW 43.330.190 and compiles copies of DNA test requests in accordance with RCW 10.73.170. The office also recommends criteria and standards for determining indigency and collects information and reports annually on indigent defense services funded by the state.

Agency Mission

The Office of Public Defense's duties are 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.
Request 113,467,000
Net change from current biennium 22,898,000 Increase
Percent change from current biennium 25.3% Increase

Operating Budget: Summary

Appropriated Funds

2017-19 Appropriations Appropriated Funds Expenditures
Amount Estimated Balance   2015-17 Actual 2017-19 Estimated 2019-21 Proposed
General Fund - Basic Account - Federal 185,886
86,577,000 General Fund - Basic Account - State 75,844,053 86,577,000 109,408,000
3,714,000 Judicial Stabilization Trust Acct - State 3,609,258 3,714,000 3,781,000
278,000 Pension Funding Stabilization Acct - State 278,000 278,000
90,569,000 Total Appropriated Funds 79,639,198 90,569,000 113,467,000

Non-Appropriated Funds

Operating Budget: Program Summary

Program Title Actual Estimated Proposed
Actual Estimated Estimated Proposed Proposed
Annual Total 40,476,430 43,209,766 14,567,305 56,766,000 56,701,000

Operating Budget: Change from Preceding Biennium

Actual Estimated Proposed
Amount Percent Amount Percent Amount Percent
9,694,003 13.9% (21,862,127) (27.5%) 55,689,929 96.4%

Employment Summary

  Actual Estimated Proposed
  2016-17 Actual 2017-18 Estimated 2018-19 Estimated 2019-20 Proposed 2020-21 Proposed
FTE Staff Years 15.7 16.1 16.4 16.3 16.0