Funding Shortages Force Prosecutors To Cut Cases


Prosecutors around the U.S. are considering not trying some minor crimes, eliminating crime prevention and monitoring programs, and seeking to divert more defendants to community courts because of staff shortages, the New York Times reports. “Understaffing is always a problem, and when you talk about cutbacks top of that it just compounds the problem,” said Christopher Chiles, prosecuting attorney in Cabell County, W.Va., and the president-elect of the National District Attorneys Association.

“We have a very anxious public, a very concerned public,” Gayle Uilkema, a supervisor in Contra Costa County, Ca., said last week. “A bordering-on-frightened public.” Stanford University law Prof. Robert Weisberg said some prosecutors were using the threat of untried crimes as a way to squeeze more money out of legislators; prosecutors say that is not the case.

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