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Prosecutors in State Courts, 1992

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 1993
12 pages
J. M. Dawson; S. K. Smith; C. J. DeFrances
Publication Series
The 1992 National Prosecutor Survey Program sent questionnaires to 290 chief prosecutors; findings revealed that, during the year ending June 30, 1992, 50 percent of prosecutor offices trying felony cases in State courts closed 200 or more such cases and that prosecutor offices employed about 57,000 staff, with a median annual office budget of $190,000.
In more than 25 percent of prosecutor offices, at least one staff member had experienced a work-related threat or assault during the year, and more than one-third took special precautions to ensure employee safety. The offices were generally small but very active. In 1992, the typical office had seven staff members, including three prosecuting attorneys, and closed about 200 felony cases and nearly 500 misdemeanor cases. The overall conviction rate was about 85 percent. Most offices reported that they informed victims and witnesses of disposition decisions. Over one-third of the offices were involved in civil lawsuits related to the discharge of prosecutor responsibilities. In the 75 largest U.S. counties, 48 percent of the offices had at least one prosecutor who was armed. Many offices implemented new prosecution methods to improve operations or reduce court caseloads, including vertical prosecution (59 percent), deferred prosecution (51 percent), diversion of first-time offenders (44 percent), and probation revocation in lieu of new prosecution (36 percent). Most prosecutors handled new offense categories based on statutes enacted within the previous 3 years. At least 75 percent of the offices had used videotapes or polygraph tests in a phase of felony prosecution. While almost all prosecutors regularly used adult criminal history records in felony prosecutions, about two-thirds said the lack of record completeness was a problem. 11 tables

Date Created: December 17, 2009