Community Safety Initiative

Posted on: May 1, 2023

City Prosecutor's Office Expands, Connects, and Reduces Backlog

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The City Prosecutor’s Office (CPO) is committed to representing the people of the City of Eugene in a fair and equitable manner, and to handle all cases filed in Eugene Municipal Court consistently and efficiently. Through the Community Safety Payroll Tax, the CPO has been able to greatly expand the level of service it provides through Eugene Municipal Court, including greater focus on alternative disposition programs that address the underlying criminogenic needs of defendants while still holding defendants accountable for their actions and taking care to address victims concerns, needs and rights.

Before CSPT Funding

Prior to the Community Safety Payroll Tax, the CPO was staffed with the equivalent of three full time prosecutors to address the entire case load of misdemeanors, violations requiring representation, and other administrative hearings for the city. The case load was unmanageable and resulted in sub optimal outcomes for the city, community members, and victims of crimes. 

Improved Services and Office Growth

The Community Safety Payroll Tax has created three additional prosecutor positions, doubling the number of prosecutors as well as allowing the hiring of an office manager to assist and manage a small and busy legal support staff. 

The increased capacity has allowed the CPO to focus on expanding the services it offers the Eugene community. The CPO was able to apply for, and be awarded, an ongoing victim services federal and state grant to pay for two full time victim services advocates and provide a full suite of victim services, a unique and beneficial addition to a municipal office. The CPO was also recently instrumental in creating the new high-risk track for Community Court, including a housing component, and its subsequent competitive federal grant award.

With these additional positions, the CPO participates in Community Court, Mental Health Court, Problem Solving Docket, and the “aid and assist” or .370 docket. All of these programs or court sessions are designed to address the unique needs and challenges of the Eugene community, each having some component of robust case management, engagement with service providers and attempts at offramps from the criminal justice system. The CPO is also able to fully engage in the traditional court process and aggressively prosecute criminal cases when needed. The CPO has virtually eliminated its backlog of cases and greatly reduced wait times for contested trials.  

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