Thursday, April 14, 2011
Dear citizens of Canyon County:
The “State of Prosecution” in Canyon County has never been stronger. Of course, the Canyon County Prosecutor’s Office has undergone some major changes, but I assure you that our capability and drive to prosecute criminals, create a better and safer community, and serve as stewards of the public trust is at an all-time high.
Five major changes have taken place in the Prosecutor’s Office over the past year, with a special emphasis on the last quarter of 2010, which have led to very positive changes for the County, as well as the highest conviction rates seen in the past decade:
(1) Strong law enforcement relations: The relationship between the Prosecutor’s Office and law enforcement is the strongest it has ever been. The Prosecutor’s Office is more accessible to law enforcement than ever before. Through the cooperative relationships that have been established, successful prosecution has become the norm.
(2) High quality prosecutors: The Prosecutor’s Office has undergone a major change in personnel. The current deputy prosecutors in the office are dedicated to doing justice, willing to work far beyond expectations, and realize their importance in creating a safer community. We are committed to the Office becoming a destination for employment, not a last resort.
(3) Organizational structure: The Prosecutor’s Office has adopted a model of vertical prosecution. This is where a deputy prosecutor handles a case from start to finish. Further, the Prosecutor’s Office is structured into specialized units. Deputy prosecutors handle cases based on the type of crime in which they have received specialized training in (i.e. drugs & gangs, sex crimes, domestic violence, etc.). This model allows for deputy prosecutors to gain expert knowledge and experience to the type of cases they are prosecuting.
(4) Paperless: The Prosecutor’s Office has transitioned to a paperless file system. This system has saved thousands of dollars to both the county and the cities in just paper costs alone. Through cooperative efforts between law enforcement and the defense bar, police reports are being sent electronically. This has created a far more efficient and productive system.
Felony crime rates did not increase in the County as a whole this year, despite continued population growth, difficult economic times, inability to hire additional law enforcement or prosecutors, and otherwise limited resources. Research would indicate that crime should increase given these circumstances. However, Canyon County is a very resilient community and your Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and law enforcement have risen to the challenge.
The strong character of personnel we have working in our criminal justice system has clearly surfaced through the adversity placed before us. With depleted resources on all levels, law enforcement and prosecutors have worked exceptionally hard, together, to see conviction rates reach their highest levels in the past 10 years. Further, the number of cases being prosecuted has increased, assuring that criminals are being held accountable. Law enforcement and prosecutors are working harder with less, and are more successful than ever, even given the number of new challenges thrown at them. However, even though prosecutors and law enforcement continue to work diligently with far less than we had two years ago, it is important for the citizens of Canyon County to be cognizant of what the prosecution numbers look like for the county from this past year. It is my intent to provide the public with strong statistical data.
The state of prosecution is very strong. Those who work in the criminal justice system day in and day out overwhelmingly share a common belief: That we are the front line in making our community a safer and more enjoyable place to live.
Bryan Taylor, PhD, JD
Canyon County Prosecuting Attorney
The budget season is upon the cities and counties of Idaho. We did a little research into the Nampa contract with the County for prosecution costs and efficiency issues. Here's the short version. The county is covering their costs with a cash overage with respect to actual costs to prosecute. Nampa is saving about $150K over what was paid to Hamilton, Mikelson, Hilty Law Offices (HMH).
It is time for the city of Caldwell to float an RFP for prosecution services. HMH currently receives from Caldwell about $35K a month for legal fees. $25k for prosecutions and $10k for civil issues.
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 10:53 AM