The Georgia Indigent Defense Act creates a state-wide public defender system overseen by the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council. The Council will establish guidelines to ensure consistent and quality legal representation of all indigent defendants. The Act addresses qualification and training, caseload size, performance and compensation standards, as well as the criteria for determining indigence. The Act eliminates the former practice of having each of the 159 counties operate independently and reorganizes the system into 49 judicial circuits. The Act allows some circuits currently operating within the mandated standards to opt out of the new system. The Act does not address funding for the new system except to the extent it forecloses circuits from state assistance.
Georgia State University Law Review,
CRIMINAL PROCEDURE Legal Defense of Indigents: Create the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council to Set State-Wide Standards for the Legal Representation of Indigent Defendants and Provide Budget Authority to Such Council,
Ga. St. U. L. Rev.
Available at: https://readingroom.law.gsu.edu/gsulr/vol20/iss1/34