Friday, November 25, 2016

Time to Consider....

Below are figures how Brazos County's split criminal prosecution offices - District Attorney prosecuting felonies, the County Attorney prosecuting misdemeanors - compare to counties with a single prosecution office, typically the District Attorney.

Lubbock County and Hays County have been used for comparison. Both have large public universities present in their community and are comparable in population. The financial figures are from each county's budget for fiscal year (FY) 2017. Also included are figures from the Office of Court Administration on filed cases for the calendar year (CY) 2015. These are included to give some idea about the number of new misdemeanor and felony filings each office was responsible for during an identical period of time. Population estimates for each county are from census estimates from July 1, 2015.
                                                   
BRAZOS COUNTY
Est. population                                                                              215,037

New felony indictments CY 2015                                                     2,229
New misdemeanor filings  CY 2015                                                 3,878                                           Total new filings CY 2015                                                               6,107                                        

County Attorney Office FY 2017                                              $3,179,875
District Attorney Office FY 2017                                              $3,612,335
TOTAL                                                                                     $6,792,210  


LUBBOCK COUNTY
Est. population                                                                               299,453

New felony indictments CY 2015                                                      3,688
New misdemeanor filings CY 2015                                                   4,037
Total new filings CY 2015                                                                  7,725

District Attorney budget FY 2017                                             $6,513,233


HAYS COUNTY
Est. population                                                                                194,739

New felony indictments CY 2015                                                           909
New misdemeanor filings CY 2015                                                     3,885
Total new filings CY 2015                                                                    4,794

District Attorney budget FY 2017                                                $3,986,030

Lubbock County has 28% more in population than Brazos County with around 1600 more new criminal filings during 2015, but has budgeted $278,000 less than Brazos County for the office prosecuting the filings there in FY 2017. Hays County has 10% less in population than Brazos County, filed about 1300 fewer criminal cases and budgeted $2.8M less for the single office prosecuting criminal cases there than Brazos County did for the two offices doing the work here in FY 2017.

 What I am saying is this: it may be time to discuss consolidating criminal prosecutions in Brazos County into a single office. Not to do so makes less fiscal sense with every passing year.                                            

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