During the 2003 Session of the General Assembly, the legislature passed the Georgia Indigent Defense Act of 2003 that created the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council and made the Standards Council responsible for the operation of the system for providing representation for indigents in criminal cases in all courts in Georgia.
This system envisioned a partnership between the state government and local governments. The state provides a circuit public defender office in 46 judicial circuits in Georgia and staffs it with 1 attorney for each superior court judge and with 2 administrative positions and 1 investigator. These offices provide representation in the superior court and in the juvenile court (delinquency proceedings only). The counties in the circuit provide the office space and pay the costs.