Indigent Defense Program

Indigent Defense Program (IDP)

The Kern County Bar Association has overseen an Indigent Defense Program (IDP) since 1996. This program provides counsel to indigent defendants in criminal cases upon appointment by the court.

The Kern County Bar Association’s Indigent Defense Program (IDP) acts as the alternate defender in Kern County. Through its contract with the County of Kern, the IDP represents adults and juveniles when the Public Defender’s office has a conflict or otherwise cannot represent a client. Representation extends to adults and juveniles in both the criminal justice and dependency systems. After the court refers a client to the IDP, the client is referred to an attorney panel member. Panel members are Kern County Bar Association members who are assigned cases based on their skill and experience. If you have questions about the program, please contact the IDP Administrator.

If you are interested in finding out more about what it takes to qualify to be an IDP Panel Member you may review the requirements as delineated per Grade in the applications provided below. To to become a Panel Member for the Indigent Defense Program, please complete the appropriate application and submit as directed for, IDP Qualifications Committee review.