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Prosecuting Attorney shortage in Ingham County

Posted at 8:13 PM, Jun 20, 2024
  • Nationally, there's been a shortage in Prosecuting Attorneys.
  • The Ingham County Prosecutor's Office has been hit with that shortage. We're told in 18 months, the Prosecutor's Office has lost 10 attorneys.
  • Watch video above to see how this shortage is impacting the Ingham County Jail.

18 months on the job, and Ingham county prosecutor John Dewane said he’s seeing a growing concern.
“I’ve lost 10 prosecuting attorney’s to higher paid jobs,” Dewane said.

John Dewane

Dewane said his office has come up with ways to recruit and retain more assisting prosecuting attorneys, but it hasn’t been easy, and with the starting salary being around $67,000, getting attorneys with experience is another challenge.

“The issue that we’re facing, is the prosecutors we have left, they have experience, five years or more, and with the new prosecutors we’re to hiring, theres typically one to 2 years of experience, so its that learning curb,” Dewane said.

The shortage putting a burden on Dwane and his employees, increasing the work load and slowing down processes.

“Without being fully staff, we are not able to fully provide services to our community and ensure we hold people responsible for their actions,” Dewane said.

This means inmates are spending more time at the Ingham County Jail.

“Our Deputies are asked every day, hey deputy when’s my next court date, hey deputy, when am I getting out of here? So, the inmate population wants to know what’s next,” said Ingham County Undersheriff Andre Bouck.

Undersheriff Andrew Bouck

Bouck and his team are responsible for nearly 400 inmates and he said his jail is feeling the trickle down effect of the prosecuting attorney shortage. He said its really felt for violent offenses. We’re told the longest current stay at the jail is more than 1400 days. That inmate is on trial for murder.

Bouck said the jail has not reached its 429 capacity number yet.

Meanwhile, Dewane is encouraging the next generation of prosecuting attorneys to come work for him.

“If you care about the rights of people and getting justice for victims, this is the job for you,” Dewane said. “You’re not going to get rich off it, but you will enjoy it like I have for the past 23 years.”

Your Neighborhood Reporter

Tianna Jenkins

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