Prosecutors Say New Tax Reducing Case Backlog

5 years 2 months 4 days ago Monday, September 09 2013 Sep 9, 2013 Monday, September 09, 2013 12:55:49 PM CDT September 09, 2013 in News
By: The Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD - Greene County law enforcement officials say a new law enforcement sales tax is helping to reduce a backlog of more than 1,500 felony cases in the county.

Prosecutor Dan Patterson says the tax has helped prosecutors reduce the backlog nearly in half, and he expects that by early 2014, all crimes will be charged soon after they happen.

A one-eight-cent tax approved by voters in 2012 brings in about $5 million per year and pays for several staff positions in the county's justice system.

The Springfield News-Leader reports the backlog reduction is causing a ripple effect. County judges aren't issuing warrants because the jail is crowded.

And the Public Defender's Office in Springfield is struggling to keep up with the number of new cases filed by the prosecutor's office.

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