U.S. Prosecutors Have Less Money to Spend; $2,800 to Close a Felony


The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics offers a new, if a bit dated, profile of the nation’s prosecutors. A 2007 census found 2,330 state prosecutors’ offices, 11 fewer than found in a 2001 count. They serve a wide range of populations, from 500 to 9.9 million residents. The prosecutors have $5.8 billion to spend, down from $6.1 billion in 2001.

In full-time offices serving populations of under 100,000–three-fourths of the nation’s prosecutors’ offices–the average office includes one chief prosecutor, three assistants, one victim advocate, one legal services staffer, one investigator, and three support staff. Prosecutors’ entry-level salaries in such officers are typically in the $44,000-$55,000 range. The budgeted cost per felony case closed was just under $2,800, in prosecutors’ offices serving more than 1 million residents.

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