Budgetary restrictions causing EBR D.A. to reduce staff
BATON ROUGE - With a budget in crisis, and potential layoffs on the way, the East Baton Rouge District Attorney's Office is struggling to stay afloat among a sea of cases.
"We are piling more cases on assistant D.A.'s and those investigators are left behind, so they're picking up the work of another ADA, another investigator, which is difficult because our caseload is extremely high as is," EBR District Attorney Hillar Moore said.
Which begs the question, does the caseload affect how well the D.A.'s office handles its cases?
"You know that's always the potential," Moore said.
According to Moore, last year the D.A.'s office prosecuted 17,500 cases. Of that number, 2,200 were juvenile cases handled by five attorneys, which divides out to 440 cases per ADA. The American Bar Association says the maximum number of juvenile cases to be handled each year is 200.
The remaining 15,000 were a combination of misdemeanors and felonies. Divided among 32 attorneys, each of them prosecuted 468 cases. The Bar Association says that these types of cases should be handled separately.
The maximum should be 400 misdemeanors, or 150 felonies. Now because of the budget, Moore is going to have to ask at least five more attorney's to leave.
"We've always been shorthanded and we're going to be with the caseload that we have, even at a fully staffed office."