The National District Attorneys Association is awarding U.S. Congressman John Spratt today at the National Advocacy Center located on the University of South Carolina-Columbia campus. Association Representative Kevin Brackett from the 16th Circuit Solicitor’s Office says Congressman Spratt has been instrumental in keeping the Center, which is the only one of its kind in the country, open for business. The Center opened in 1998 and trains state and federal prosecutors. Brackett says today’s award is an opportunity for prosecutors to show their appreciation to Spratt.
“His support of the National Advocacy Center, which is the only school for training prosecutors on the country–as well as the support for the John R. Justice Public Defender/Prosecutor Incentive Act which is basically a loan forgiveness program for public service lawyers–has been absolutely instrumental in keeping the school open and getting the Act to pass,” said Brackett.
Brackett says Spratt is the Center’s biggest supporter. “Spratt has been a champion in helping us secure further funding for the facility to keep it open,” he said. “It’s an ongoing process. We still have some problems. We’re hoping that Congress will step up this year and fully fund the facility and make it a recurring item in the budget.”
Brackett says that Spratt also has been a staunch supporter of the John Justice Loan Forgiveness Program named after a South Carolina prosecutor from the 6th Circuit.
Brackett said, “Solicitor Justice has long been an advocate for some sort of help for lawyers who go into public service as a prosecutor or a public defense. The problem is that so many of these lawyers come out of school with debt loads that are not sustainable on what a public servant makes. What you end up having is lawyers, they come in and get one or two years experience…simple economics forcing them to go back out to private practice where they can make a livable wage.”