Author Topic: Prosecutor's Office Mid Year Report  (Read 1485 times)

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Offline kevinhillman

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Prosecutor's Office Mid Year Report
« on: July 20, 2011, 03:55:56 AM »

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Prosecutor’s Office 2011 Mid-Year Report
By: Kevin Hillman, Prosecuting Attorney

As we have passed the mid-point of 2011, I wanted to update everyone on the progress we have made at the Pulaski County Prosecutor’s Office.  As many of you know, I took office on January 1, 2011 and set about to make improvements to the office.  As you will see below, I, along with my staff, have been hard at work improving the office to better serve the citizens of Pulaski County.

Case Numbers and Restitution:
I am pleased to announce that as of June 30, 2011, my office has filed 373 felony cases and 544 misdemeanor cases for a total of 917 criminal cases filed.  To place this in perspective, the office filed a total of 1022 criminal cases for all of 2010.  As such, we are on pace to nearly double the pace of criminal cases from last year.  We have filed 1970 traffic cases and 147 child support cases in the last 6 months.  We have disposed by pleas of guilty of 93 felony cases, 155 misdemeanor cases, and 1880 traffic cases.  We have also conducted 4 trials; 3 bench trials and 1 jury trial, all of which resulted in findings of guilt.  As a result of these convictions, the County has recouped over $116,000.00 in reimbursement for jail board and fees.  Offenders have paid nearly $18,000 into the County Law Enforcement Restitution Fund for law enforcement use by my office, the Coroner, and the Sheriff.  We have returned over $89,000 in restitution to victims.  In addition to the restitution, the bad check program has generated $11,000 in fees to victims as well as $16,000 to the County in revenue.  Finally, we have collected over $13,000 in past due sales and income taxes to the State which resulted in over $2600 in revenue for the County.  As you can see, we have had a busy 6 months and I expect that this will continue into the future.

Office Staff:
Prior to taking office, I met with the existing staff on several occasions and got to know them.  I determined that the staff members, and their experience, were a valuable asset to the office.  All agreed to work to my expectations and therefore I retained all of the staff.  However, I noted some significant deficiencies in regards to the level of staffing.  For example, the office had no staff members working on the criminal cases, which seemed odd to me for a Prosecutor’s Office.  To fix this problem, I added two criminal clerks, who focus only on criminal cases, allowing the office to handle a larger caseload more efficiently.  In addition, I added two part time assistant prosecutors.  Both of these prosecutors have worked for many years as prosecutors and bring a wealth of experience to the office.  One of these prosecutors has been tasked with working cases dealing with child victims and child support cases, where there was a significant backlog.  The office had one investigator provided by the Sheriff’s Department on a part time basis.  We have retained that investigator and added a second investigator to help us with our case preparation.  We appreciate the Sheriff’s Office support with our investigators.  We have also had a number of folks volunteer in the office, which has been a tremendous help in our work.  Thank you to all who have volunteered.

Office Cleaning:
Upon taking office, I immediately found that the office was in need of cleaning and organization.  There were many files stored in the office dating back to 1994.  Although many of these files are required to be saved for 50 years, the storage of them in the office took up valuable office space.  We removed over 350 boxes of documents and placed them into a rented storage facility.  This removal opened up three additional office spaces which were renovated and now house one of the new assistant prosecutors along with two of the criminal clerks. 

Technology Upgrades:
A modern prosecutor’s office depends on technology to efficiently handle the caseload.  Although some of the computers in the office were in decent shape, there were several that were very old and required upgrading.  In addition, I found that there was no virus protection and there was no back-up of data on the server.  I was able to purchase used computers from the City of St. Robert at a very good price and was given some from the County Clerk’s office that allowed us to take some of the old computers off line and replace them with the newer models.  In addition, we were able to add four new work stations.  We physically moved the server to a safer location and have instituted an off-site back-up of the data.  I also noted that the office did not have a scanner so it was unable to e-mail any documents or save them electronically.  The copier was old and did not have any network capability.  To fix this, I had installed a copier/printer/fax/scanner that allows us to do so much more with our data.  We are now sending discovery electronically, saving the taxpayers the costs of copying.  We are hopeful that beginning in January 2012 we will switch to electronic copies of the files, eliminating many of the paper files that we currently have. These technology upgrades have allowed us to be more efficient and to save money in the process.

Victim Advocate Program Restarted:
The Victim Advocate Program was lacking when I took office as the advocate was being tasked with working on criminal cases along with her other duties.  I immediately switched her back to working full time as the victim advocate, ensuring that victims are notified in a timely fashion of court dates and case dispositions.  In addition, we have applied for a grant to expand the program and hope to hear back from the State in August whether we received our grant.

McGruff the Crime Dog
We have now added McGruff the Crime Dog to our staff as a way to spread the message of crime prevention and protection to the community, especially children.  The costume cost over $1600 and we were blessed to have generous businesses in the community step up and donate so we could start this program.  Those businesses were Security Bank, First State Bank, Bank of Iberia, Mid-America Bank and Trust, and Fort Wood Hotels.  I wish to thank them personally for their generous donation.  Look for McGruff at community events and schools sharing his message of crime prevention to the youth of our community.

I hope this provides some details into what the Prosecutor’s Office has been doing and how your tax dollars are being spent.  I would like to personally thank the judges, clerks, bailiffs, law enforcement officers, and most importantly my staff, who all work hard to make the criminal justice system in Pulaski County work.  All of these folks work hard to try and make Pulaski County a safe place to live.  It is truly a team effort.  If you ever need to contact me or wish to see the Prosecutor’s Office at work, please call 573-774-4770 to schedule an appointment.
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Re: Prosecutor's Office Mid Year Report
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2011, 04:45:14 AM »
Kevin, you are doing a great sevice for Pulaski County and I thank you  ***(**&
And to say the least, I thank all the people that help and and serve the county  :th_gen129:
Remember I'm a nudist so when you respond to one of my post yor talking to a naked man  :)


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