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Prosecutors in State Courts, 1994

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 1996
16 pages
C. J. DeFrances; S. K. Smith; L. van der Does
Publication Series
This survey found that 2,343 State court prosecutor offices employed about 65,000 attorneys, investigators, and support staff in 1994, a 14-percent increase over 1992.
Survey data were collected using a mailed questionnaire that consisted of 36 questions. Of 308 prosecutor offices surveyed, 269 completed questionnaires. Almost 90 percent of offices prosecuted domestic violence and child abuse cases during 1994, and about half of offices prosecuted cases involving new kinds of firearms offenses. Approximately 75 percent of offices provided security or assistance for felony case victims and witnesses who had been threatened, half the offices reported a staff member received a work-related threat or was assaulted, and 25 percent of chief prosecutors carried a firearm for personal security. About 127 full-time prosecutor offices served jurisdictions with a population of 500,000 or more; these offices represented 49 percent of the U.S. population. Most larger offices prosecuted cases that involved stalking, elder abuse, hate crimes, and parental abduction of children. More than half of larger offices had specialized units to handle juvenile cases in adult criminal courts, 48 percent of offices in larger jurisdictions had at least one assistant prosecutor cross-designated to prosecute cases in Federal court, and 68 percent of chief prosecutors in larger jurisdictions had a civil suit filed against them. When compared to offices with full-time chief prosecutors, part-time offices typically had smaller budgets, prosecuted fewer special types of felony offenses, rescheduled fewer trials due to the unavailability of prosecution witnesses, used videotaped evidence in felony trials less often, and had fewer assaults against staff members. About 25 percent of all offices had safety measures in place to protect staff members, and 96 percent of offices used criminal history data during the course of prosecuting felony cases. Types of juvenile cases handled by all offices included delinquency cases, requests to transfer juveniles to criminal courts, abuse and neglect, noncriminal behavior, and dependency review cases involving minors in the protective custody of courts. About 83 percent of all offices used computer systems for office management, individual criminal matters, or case management. Supplemental information on prosecutors who handled felony cases in State courts is appended. 12 tables

Date Created: December 17, 2009