The Office of State Public Defender was created by SB 2563 (2011). The Act merged the Office of Capital Defense Counsel, the Office of Indigent Appeals, and the Public Defender Training Division.

The State Defender was charged with managing the new Indigent Appeals Division, Capital Defense Counsel Division and Defender Training Division as well as coordinating the collection and dissemination of statistical data and developing plans and proposals for further development of a statewide public defender system.

HB 772 (2016) expanded the State Defender’s authority to include representation of parents in child protection and termination of parental rights matters in Youth Court and on appeal. This act also transferred to the State Defender oversight of the training and certification of Youth Court defenders in both parent representation in child welfare cases and children in delinquency matters.

Today, Capital Defense provides direct trial and appeal level defense in most death penalty eligible cases as well as training in all aspects of capital representation.

Indigent Appeals provides direct representation in most felony level indigent appeals as well as handling Youth Court Appeals when asked. IAD also provides training and technical assistance to trial level defenders.

Training provides training and technical assistance to public defenders practicing in all state, county, municipal and youth courts and current information for the Legislature pertaining to the needs of public defense in Mississippi.

The Parent Defense program oversees the delivery of services to parents in child welfare cases, training and technical assistance to the front-line defenders and representation on select appeals. Services are provided through partnerships with the Center for Legal Services and several county-based public defense projects.


 

Office of State Public Defender
P.O. Box 3510
Jackson, MS 39207
601-576-4290
601-576-4205 (fax)

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Mississippi OSPD
2011