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County Commissioners and Clerks

The relationship between the PDC and Idaho’s counties is a collaborative one. The PDC interacts with the counties in two main ways. First, the PDC has created performance standards for indigent defense providers, so the PDC will monitor the performance of the indigent defense services provided by the county to ensure compliance.  Second, the PDC is charged with distributing indigent defense grants to the counties, so that counties may have increased funding for their indigent defense services. Through these two avenues the PDC and the counties work together to ensure that the defense services provided are constitutionally sound and adequately funded.

This page provides resources for County Commissioners and Clerks to better understand the role of the PDC and how counties can comply with indigent defense standards in order to be eligible to receive indigent defense grants from the state.

The PDC has been given the authority to create Indigent Defense Standards with which the counties must comply. These standards will be created by rule through the negotiated rulemaking process. For more information, navigate to the following pages:

Standards and Guidelines

Negotiated Rulemaking

Proposed and Pending Rules


This document can assist you to understand what standards are currently in effect and require compliance. This document is only a guide. The PDC recommends reviewing all the IDAPA rules in full to ensure compliance.

The PDC does not provide a model contract, however, has created a recommendation for terms to be used in county contracts with defending attorneys: Suggested Model Contract Terms

The PDC had the pleasure of addressing many County Commissioners and Clerks at the IACC Conference on June 11, 2015, introducing these terms to the counties. A copy of the presentation: IAC Summer Meeting PowerPoint


US Department of Justice: Report on Contracting for Indigent Defense Services

NLADA: Guidelines for Negotiating and Awarding Governmental Contracts for Criminal Defense Services

Indigent Defense Grants

An Indigent Defense Grant is money provided to Idaho counties by the Commission to improve indigent defense services.

APPLICATIONS FOR FY2018 INDIGENT DEFENSE GRANTS WERE DUE MAY 1, 2017. We received 43 applications out of 44 counties.

42 FY2018 applications were approved by the Commission. The funds will be disbursed on or about October 1, 2017.

APPLICATIONS FOR FY2017 INDIGENT DEFENSE GRANTS WERE DUE AUGUST 1, 2016. We received 43 applications out of 44 counties! Thank you to all those who put the time and effort into getting the applications completed and submitted.

All 43 FY2017 applications were approved on August 30, 2016.

There are three (3) types of Indigent Defense Grants:

  • Indigent Defense Grant

Every county that is in compliance with indigent defense standards is eligible for this type of grant. A county's "local share" is used to calculate the maximum amount of funds for which counties are eligible to receive. A county is eligible for $25,000 or 15% of its local share, whichever is greater. “Local Share” is defined by I.C. § 19-851(8): “[f]or any given county fiscal year, a county's local share shall be the median of the annual amount in county funds expended by that county for indigent defense during each of the first three (3) of the preceding five (5) county fiscal years, as certified by the county clerk.” In other words, for a FY2017 grant application, the prior five years are FY2012-2016. So the local share would be the median of the amounts expended in FY2012-2014.

Applications for IDGs are due on May 1st each year. The application will require information showing the county is in compliance with current indigent defense standards. If a county is not in compliance, the application requires a plan from the county showing how it will come into compliance in the upcoming fiscal year.

FY2018 Grant Application and Materials - available here.

  • Joint County Incentive Grant - as a part of the Indigent Defense Grants, counties are eligible for an additional $25,000 if they join with another county to open a county-run office.
  • Extraordinary Litigation Fund Grants - this fund is to help offset the costs of an unusual case for a county with extraordinary costs that could not have been anticipated or are simply unusual. Information and materials available here.

County Budgets

When the county budget process begins in April of each year, counties should keep in mind that a county is required to maintain its local share of indigent defense expenditures. See Idaho Code 19-862.

To calculate your local share and eligible grant award for a given county fiscal year, use the following document: Local Share and Grant Calculation Form





Idaho Code 19-864 requires all defending attorneys to submit an annual report to the board of county commissioners, the corresponding administrative district judge and the PDC. The PDC has developed an Annual Reporting Form for both Institutional Offices and Contract Defending Attorneys. Those forms can be found here: Forms & Reports. The PDC expects to collect annual reporting forms on Nov. 1 2017 as the data will be necessary for the creation of workload standards and other standards.