North Carolina 2024 Public Defender Expansion

In 2023, the North Carolina General Assembly approved funding to create eight new public defender districts. The eight new districts will cover twenty-two counties. Once they are in place, sixty of North Carolina’s 100 counties will be served by a public defender. Seven of the new districts were fully funded starting January 1, 2024; for the eighth, full funding is effective July 1, 2024. Because new public defender offices need time to hire and train staff, they will not start taking cases right away.

The map below shows counties that had a public defender office before 2024, counties that will get a public defender office in 2024, and counties that do not have a public defender office.

Counties Served by Public Defender Offices

The table below provides information about all the state’s public defender districts.

North Carolina Public Defender Districts