The Washington State Office of Public Defense (OPD) is pleased to announce that OPD is now responsible for the administration of public defense services for those committed as Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity (NGRI) under Ch. 10.77 RCW. Previously, indigent representation was administered by individual counties.
Pursuant to Substitute Senate Bill 5415, the legislature transferred that responsibility to OPD. The bill was signed into law on April 20, 2023 and became effective immediately. While the law is technically in effect, legislative appropriations are not effective until July 1, 2023 and OPD will not be contracting with defense counsel or providing payment of any expert or litigation costs until July 1, 2023. All indigent expert defense service costs incurred prior to July 1, 2023 remain the responsibility of the counties and/or the DSHS-Behavioral Health Administration.
Please direct inquiries to Jennifer.Bartlett@opd.wa.gov