TRIAL LEVEL PUBLIC DEFENDER OFFICES
History of Public Defender Offices
The present Board succeeds the Board of Supervisors of Panels to Aid Indigent Defendants (1969 Legislature - KSA 22-4501 et seq.) which was abolished on the effective date of the 1982 legislation. The first two public defender offices (3rd Judicial District - Topeka, and 8th Judicial District - Junction City) were authorized and organized in FY 1972, and the third (28th Judicial District - Salina) was set up in FY 1973. The 18th Judicial District Public Defender Office (Wichita) was created in FY 1985, although it began its phase-in during the latter part of FY 1984. On July 3, 1989, the 10th Judicial District Public Defender Office (Johnson County) began accepting indigent felony appointments. The 25th Judicial District Office (Garden City) began accepting cases in January, 1994. The 27th Judicial District Public Defender Office (Hutchinson) opened in June of 1996. The Northeast Kansas Conflict Office began accepting cases in July of 1997 and the Southeast Kansas Public Defender office began accepting cases in August of 1997 in Chanute and a satellite office was opened in Independence in FY 2004. The Wichita Conflicts Office was opened in FY 2009. The Death Penalty Defense Unit has offices in both Topeka and Wichita (FY 1995).