South Carolina’s criminal justice system hopes an influx of new state dollars could help prosecutor caseloads ease up soon.
The legislature approved an additional $7.8 million in the annual budget this year to add 104 prosecutors across the state. According to The State newspaper, supporters of the extra money hope it will help lower the workload on prosecutors, mainly in poorer and rural areas, where the problem is widespread.
The state and counties will share the cost of hiring new prosecutors. When counties cannot afford a prosecutor, solicitors distribute those cases with the prosecutors covering nearby counties, adding to their workload.
State lawmakers also approved $2.9 million to hire more prosecutors to deal with criminal domestic violence cases and end the practice of police officers being the prosecutor against well experienced criminal defense attorneys.