The Office of State Public Defender was created by SB 2563, becoming active on July 1, 2011. The Office merges the Office of Capital Defense Counsel with the Office of Indigent Appeals.


The State Defender is charged with coordinating the collection and dissemination of statistical data and developing plans and proposals for further development of a statewide public defender system in coordination with the Mississippi Public Defenders Task Force.

The State Defender also administers the Indigent Appeals Division, Capital Defense Counsel Division and Defender Training Division of the Office of State Public Defender.

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

• The Training Division provides education and training for public defenders practicing in all state, county, municipal and youth courts; technical assistance for public defenders practicing in these courts; and current and accurate information for the Legislature pertaining to the needs of public defenders practicing in Mississippi.

• Capital Defense Counsel provides direct trial and appeal level defense in most death penalty eligible cases as well as training in all aspects of capital representation. In a collaborative effort with SPLC and the Vital Projects Fund, OSPD houses the Juvenile Parole and Sentencing Resource Counsel to assist attorneys representing capital defendants who were juveniles at the time of the alleged offenses.

HB 772 (2016) authorizes the State Defender to represent parents in child protection and termination of parental rights matters in Youth Court. This act also transfers to the State Defender oversight of the training and certification of Youth Court defenders. [No additional funding was provided for these additional duties.]


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