Rhode Island

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All data is current as of 2013, unless otherwise noted.
Return to the list of all States.

Read about a particular aspect of the right to counsel in Rhode Island by clicking on the heading for that issue. Or [Expand All] to see and print from one location all of the facts about the right to counsel in Rhode Island, then [Collapse All] whenever you need to do so.

How the right to counsel is administered and structured
State commission: none
Branch of government: executive

The governor appoints the chief public defender of the Rhode Island Public Defender, which is a statewide executive branch agency responsible for providing right to counsel services throughout the state.

The Rhode Island Supreme Court administers a panel of private attorneys to be appointed in conflict cases.


How the right to counsel is funded
Percentage of state funding: 100%
Percentage of local funding: 0%
Percentage of alternative funding: 0%

The methods used to provide public counsel

Rhode Island is home to the nation’s first-ever statewide, state-funded public defender office, established in 1941. The Rhode Island Public Defender remains to this day as the state’s primary system for providing right to counsel services. Being a geographically small state, the agency has but five satellite offices located across the state.

Conflict representation is provided by a panel of private attorneys, who are paid hourly on a per-case basis and administered by the Rhode Island Supreme Court.


Legal authority
General Laws of Rhode Island, §§ 12-15-1 et seq.

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