Federal Defender Services of Idaho was originally established in 1994 as a branch office of the Federal Defenders of Eastern Washington and Idaho. Federal Defender organizations are established under the authority of the Criminal Justice Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3006A. The organization is a non-profit corporation managed by a Board of Directors. It is funded by a yearly grant from the Congress of the United States administered by the Administrative Office of the United States courts in Washington, D.C. As a Community Defender program it is mandated by the Sixth Amendment of United States Constitution - the right to effective assistance of counsel. The caseload ranges from petty offenses, to multi-defendant drug conspiracies, sophisticated white-collar fraud offenses, computer crimes, and serious crimes.

Our mission is to defend poor people facing loss of liberty to the best of our ability. To that end, we hold the government to account — fighting to make sure the rights and interests of the indigent receive the same respect as those of the rich. We pursue compassion and humanity in our courts — arguing for truly parsimonious sentencing in the face of brutal federal prison conditions and harsh and irrational federal sentencing guidelines. We honor our clients’ inherent dignity and character — walking with them every step of the way as they endure the might of state power. And we help others who share our commitments — working to grow and maintain a federal criminal defense bar that is dedicated to the art of zealous indigent criminal defense. 

It is our honor to stand up in court for those who have been left behind.

At FDSI, we are committed to our core values:

  • Compassion for our clients and ourselves
  • Integrity in our words and actions
  • Respect; assuming positive intent and owning responsibility for our actions regardless of our intent; and
  • Always serving our clients’ best interests

By fulfilling its mission, this organization helps maintain public confidence in the nation's commitment to equal justice under law and ensure the successful operation of the constitutionally-based adversary system of justice by which federally guaranteed rights are enforced. As was stated so eloquently in 1963, from a jail in Birmingham, Alabama, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."