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At a Glance (as of 2013)

Percentage of state funding: 37%
Percentage of local funding: 63%
Percentage of alternative funding: 0%
State commission: yes – limited authority
Branch of government: executive


Structure & Funding of Indigent Defense Services

The Georgia Public Defender Standards Council (GPDSC) is a fifteen-member commission within the executive branch that appoints circuit public defenders to oversee trial-level indigent defense services in 49 of the state’s judicial circuits. GDPSC also oversees a central office providing training, capital support services, appellate representation, and mental health advocacy. GPDSC has limited authority to enforce standards it promulgates.


Though the executive branch of government has the majority of appointments to GPDSC, there is an eight-member legislative oversight committee that reviews the Council’s work. And, although this appears to be a structured system, counties can opt out of the system, meaning the state has no regulatory authority over those regions. Because of this, GPDSC is defined as a commission with limited authority.

Statutory Authority

O.C.G.A § 17-12-1 through 17-12-128

Source of data: original research conducted by Sixth Amendment Center staff, augmented by the American Bar Association, State, County and Local Expenditures for Indigent Defense Services: Fiscal Year 2008, November 2010.