2016 Arkansas Code
Title 16 - Practice, Procedure, and Courts
Subtitle 6 - Criminal Procedure Generally
Chapter 87 - Public Defenders
Subchapter 2 - -- Arkansas Public Defender Commission
§ 16-87-203. Powers and duties
(a) The Arkansas Public Defender Commission shall have the following powers and duties:
(1) To establish policies and standards for the public defender system throughout the state, including standards for determining who qualifies as an indigent person;
(2) To establish policies and standards for the organization and operation of public defenders' offices throughout the state, including funding, compensation, staffing, and standards of experience for attorneys assigned to particular cases;
(3) To allocate personnel for each public defender's office throughout the state;
(4) To require annual reports regarding expenditures, caseloads, and status of cases from each public defender;
(5) To evaluate the performance of the Executive Director of the Arkansas Public Defender Commission, the Capital, Conflicts, and Appellate Office, the Trial Public Defender Office, each public defender, and private attorneys assigned to represent indigent persons;
(6) To approve the reassignment of cases from one public defender to another public defender in an adjacent area for the purpose of avoiding conflicts or adjusting caseloads;
(7) To approve the purchase, rental, and sharing of office space, equipment, or personnel among public defenders in the event and to the extent such items have been provided through an appropriation of the General Assembly;
(8) To establish employee personnel policies for the commission and the public defenders;
(9) To accept and to authorize a public defender to accept moneys, gifts, grants, or services from any public or private source;
(10) To enter and authorize a public defender to enter into contracts with individuals, educational institutions, nonprofit associations, or state or federal agencies, including contracts for the provision of legal services related to the defense of indigent persons;
(11) To maintain for each judicial district a current list of private attorneys who are willing to accept court appointments and who meet any other qualifications established by the commission;
(12) To maintain a separate list of private attorneys who are willing to accept court appointments in capital cases and who meet any other qualifications established by the commission;
(13) To oversee the Juvenile Ombudsman Division of the Arkansas Public Defender Commission; and
(14) To perform all other functions and duties as authorized by law.
(b) The commission shall operate the trial public defender system in such a manner that the respective trial public defenders shall not be deemed to be part of the same office for purposes of appointment in conflict of interest situations and in such a manner that the Capital, Conflicts, and Appellate Office shall not be deemed a part of the same office as any trial public defender for purposes of appointment in conflict of interest situations.
(c) The commission shall make an annual report to the Governor, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals regarding the efforts of the commission to implement this subchapter.
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