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At a Glance (as of 2013)

Percentage of state funding: 100%
Percentage of local funding: 0%
Percentage of alternative funding: 0%
State commission: none
Branch of government: executive


Structure & Funding of Indigent Defense Services

Alaska has two parallel systems providing right to counsel services across the state. Both are executive branch agencies. The primary system is the Public Defender Agency (PDA), which has branch offices located in various locations throughout the state, and direct trial services are provided through a mixture of full time staff attorneys and contracts with private attorneys. The PDA’s chief public defender is appointed by the governor from two nominations of the Judicial Counsel and subject to confirmation by a majority of members of the legislature. In cases of conflict, the Office of Public Advocacy (OPA) provides services through a structure similar to that of the primary system, but with a greater emphasis on contracting with private counsel for direct representation. The OPA also provides representation in abuse and neglect cases, public guardianship for incapacitated adults, and for parents in child in need of aid cases. The director of OPA is appointed by the governor.


Statutory Authority

AS § 18.85.010 through 18.85.170 (public defender); and, AS § 44.21.400 through AS § 44.21.470 (office of public advocacy)

Source of data: original research conducted by Sixth Amendment Center staff.