The indigent defense program provides legal services for persons who are constitutionally entitled to legal counsel but who are found to be indigent by the court and unable to pay for legal services. This includes criminal defendants in jeopardy of incarceration and children and parents in dependency and neglect and termination of parental rights cases. The indigent defense program is funded with general fund state tax dollars.
The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) administers the indigent defense fund, which compensates attorneys, interpreters, experts and investigators for providing services to indigent defendants. Supreme Court Rule 13 provides additional information about how attorneys and other experts are compensated for indigent defense work.