"2013, 28 states and the District of Columbia had state-administered indigent defense programs for the delivery of criminal defense services. State-administered indigent defense systems were either completely funded and administered by the state, or were funded by the state and county but administered by the state. In most states, one central office managed the delivery of all methods of state-administered indigent defense. Alaska, Colorado, the District of Columbia, and Rhode Island had two offices that administered indigent defense. Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia used multiple delivery methods to provide indigent defense and six states used one delivery method . In 25 states and the District of Columbia public defenders were government employees. By law, states must provide legal defense to those who were charged with a criminal offense involving a possible loss of liberty and who were unable to afford an attorney. Many states authorized some form of cost recovery for providing legal defense to indigent clients. Some states charged an application fee prior to providing legal representation, while other states charged recoupment, where a client pays all or a portion of the costs associated with legal representation or support services. [...]The Bureau of Justice Statistics' (BJS) 2013 National Survey of Indigent Defense Systems (NSIDS) was the first census of all state- and county-administered indigent defense systems."
NCJ 250249 ; National Criminal Justice 250249
Bureau of Justice Statistics: http://www.bjs.gov/