Georgia

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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

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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.

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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.