Now, I know that since the vast majority of the Gang Who Couldn't Shoot Straight haven't been prosecutors during this millennium that it probably stands to reason that they are currently unaware of the biggest internal enemy the District Attorney's Office faces.
More specifically, burnout at the level of Felony Threes.
I've explained the job duties before, but I'll do a brief recap (on the off-chance that you are as bad about finding articles in the archives of a blog as I am).
The Felony Three is the foot soldier of each District Court. They pull the docket every morning. They "screen" each new case, writing a Defendant's criminal history on the front of the file, as well as a brief synopsis of the case. If there are offense reports to be ordered, they do it. If there are preliminary calls to be made to Complainant's, they get to do that too. During court, they normally have to fill out the majority of plea paperwork, and then stand before the bench to "take" the pleas on behalf of the State. If any phone calls need to be made for various and sundry reasons, they are usually the ones to make them.
And now I'm sure they are getting to do more than their fair share of offense report copying, too.
In their multitude of "down time", they get to work their cases up for trial, and in some courts, that's just an intellectual exercise. It's difficult for Threes to get their cases to trial in some courts. Understandably, most judges will put a priority on trying a Felony Two's murder case over a Three's less than a gram Possession of a Controlled Substance case.
Most Threes quickly accumulate the 240 hours of Comp Time that they cap out on, and then spend their Sundays working for free by screening their cases.
If it isn't obvious, my point is that Threes burn out with massive workloads.
Luckily, the position in the standard rotation that follows being a Felony Chief is the position of Misdemeanor Chief.
The life of being a Misdemeanor Chief is important, but I think everyone would agree that it is significantly more leisurely. There are supervisory duties, but most chiefs don't carry much (if any) of a caseload for trial.
I know that when I was a Misdemeanor Chief, I was able to whittle down my 240 hours of Comp Time down to around 8 remaining hours over the period of a little less than a year!
And the rest was needed.
The first time up as a Felony Three is an overwhelming time period, and it often separates the prosecutors who want to be Career Prosecutors from those who don't.
But the average time that most prosecutors used to spend as First Time Threes used to be right around six months. After six months, they got rotated down to be Misdemeanor Chiefs and got the much deserved break they had earned during their time up in the Big Leagues.
Right now, however, Felony Threes are staying well past six months with no apparent end in sight as to when they get to go back down. In addition to other things that the Lykos administration has done to kill morale, failing to rotate the Felony Threes back down to misdemeanor is running good prosecutors into the ground.
It's tough on their health. Sometimes it can even be tough on their family lives.
So, here's the Memo to the Gang: you've got a lot of good people working for you at those levels, but they aren't bulletproof. If you don't start taking some more interest in trying to make their lives a little easier, you are going to lose them. They'll leave to save their social lives. They'll leave to save their marriages. Hell, they'll leave to save their sanity.
Do something about it, folks. You are really going to regret it if you don't. I know you've blown the budget already, so there is no hope of getting them some backup with adding a fourth person to the courts.
But you could still rotate your Felony Threes with your Misdemeanor Chiefs for no money!
It's common sense, and it's free.
But then again, it seems like a little common sense around the 6th Floor would be priceless these days.