(Jefferson City) Missouri’s prosecutors and public defenders are dealing with mounting caseloads and with limited staff.
The Public Defender System wants an extra 3.3 million dollars in state funding to chip away at the growing waiting list of about 6-thousand poor Missourians who have requested legal services.
Director Mary Fox says caseloads should be reduced by eliminating cases that do not need to be prosecuted.
Christian County Prosecutor Amy Fite says a new survey shows Missouri prosecutors averaged more than 12-hundred felony cases and 18-hundred misdemeanor cases that were reviewed in 2018.
Public Defender Director Fox says her office closes more than 61-thousand cases annually among her nearly 400 attorneys.
She says caseloads could be reduced by limiting which cases are prosecuted and an emphasis on diversion programs and treatment courts and services.