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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: yes (2) – one for primary system & one for conflict system
Branch of government: judicial


Structure & Funding of Indigent Defense Services

The Office of the Colorado State Public Defender administers 21 regional defender offices across the state, each staffed with full time attorneys and substantive support staff. All administrative and support functions for these offices are handled by a central administrative office in Denver. An independent, five-member commission selects the system’s chief attorney, the state public defender, who is responsible for implementing and enforcing the commission’s policies throughout the regional offices.


In cases of conflict, direct services are provided by private attorneys appointed to individual cases and overseen by the Office of the Alternate Defense Counsel. The conflict system operates completely independent of the primary system, reporting to a second independent, nine-member statewide defender commission, which is responsible for implementing and enforcing the commission’s policies in conflict cases and overseeing the Office of the Alternate Defense Counsel.

Both the primary and conflict systems are funded entirely by state general fund appropriation and both are judicial branch agencies. The state supreme court appoints all members of both commissions.

Statutory Authority

C.R.S. § 21-1-101 through 21-2-107

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