All data is current as of 2013, unless otherwise noted.
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How the right to counsel is administered and structured

State commission: yes – limited authority
Branch of government: executive


The Kansas State Board of Indigents’ Defense Services (BIDS) is a statewide, state-funded commission administratively housed in the state’s executive branch. The Board itself is composed of nine members, each selected by the governor (with consent of the senate).

BIDS has a central administrative office responsible for overseeing and implementing its policies. BIDS’ authority at the trial level, however, is limited to felonies and appeals.

Counties maintain the responsibility for funding and administering right to counsel services on behalf of defendants in adult misdemeanor and juvenile delinquency matters.

How the right to counsel is funded

Percentage of state funding: 74%
Percentage of local funding: 26%
Percentage of alternative funding: 0%

The methods used to provide public counsel

For felonies and appeals, defendants in 43 counties receive services through staffed public defender offices. The Kansas State Board of Indigents’ Defense Services (BIDS) contracts with private attorneys to provide services in the balance of counties, with attorneys receiving a single, flat rate per case-type.

Though some public defender offices handle each other’s conflicts (mostly in serious felonies), the majority of conflict representation is handled through judicially controlled assigned counsel panels, with BIDS obligated to pay the amount authorized by the local judge. Such an arrangement often leads to the most egregious abuses of judicial interference, because judges can assign cases to friends or campaign contributors without being financially beholden locally for their actions.

Legal authority

Kansas Constitution, Bill of Rights, § 10

Kansas Statutes, §§ 22-4501 through 22-4529 (aid to indigent defendants)

Kansas Administrative Regulations, §§ 105-1-1 through 105-31-6 (board of indigents’ defense services)

Source of data: original research conducted by Sixth Amendment Center staff, augmented by the American Bar Association, State, County and Local Expenditures for Indigent Defense Services: Fiscal Year 2008, November 2010.