Sunday, April 13, 2008

Prosectors or Roads?

There's a fair amount of griping about "the DA's office," "the judges," and so forth--having to do with sentencing, jail-terms, yadayadayada.

The Rag has some useful input but it's not a good sign.

...there's been hardly a peep from the newspaper folks about a far more sensational crisis at the Kenosha County District Attorney's office: the revolving door where up and coming young talent is forced to leave public service in order to make ends meet

...The pay crisis was so bad in the 1980's that the legislature in 1989 made all Assistant District Attorneys state employees, a move designed to encourage competence and professionalism and provide a career path for those lawyers interested in public service. State prosecutors were then ranked in a "step system" grid according to their experience and much needed substantial pay raises.

But the "step system" was abandoned a couple of years later creating a disparity between us "old geezers" and new prosecutors who receive no longevity pay. As it stands today, they start at $46,000 and go nowhere in terms of pay progression.

So what? So THIS:

Every district attorney's office in the state is understaffed, overworked and this comes at the expense of serving victims and protecting our citizens. In the past six years, we have lost 180 experienced prosecutors from service statewide due to the absence of pay progression ("step system"). That's a 50% turnover in just the last six years

(Usually turnover is figured on an annual basis--meaning that it's closer to 8%/year. But that's not all that much better. Figure about 2 years for a "newbie" to get into the rhythm--meaning that 'training costs' alone are high.)

It wasn't supposed to be this way. The very reason the state took over the prosecution system was to foster professionalism, competence and longevity and end the revolving door. The governor and legislators have turned their backs on this promise

In the meantime, the State is building highways in North Nowhere, and every village with a population above 10,000 has a UW-system college--for which the General Contractors are forever grateful.

1 comment:

grumps said...

It's pretty clear. It's time to get rid of the dead wood in the system. Cut ten percent of the prosecutor's budget and cut the mill rate another .0005%.