The day-to-day operation of the District Attorney’s Office falls within the ambit of the Administrative Division. This Division, supervised by a Deputy District Attorney, oversees personnel issues, budgetary matters, staff training and prosecution support. It is comprised of several units including Customer Service; Data Entry, Records & Legal Assistance; Graphic Design & Trial Technology; Planning & Development and Public Affairs.
The primary focus of the Customer Service Department is serving the informational needs of the public. The Customer Service team responds to requests from callers and visitors regarding case status, attorney and victim advocate assignments, directions and general inquiries. Representatives also work closely with other criminal justice agencies on matters related to extradition, warrants and alternative sentencing programs.
Data Entry, Legal Assistance & Records
The Data Entry, Legal Assistance & Records Department manages the paralegal staff who provide direct trial preparation and case management support to prosecutors. Also under the supervision of this department is the Records Room which is the custodian of files, evidence and general archives. Records Room staff are responsible for managing correspondence to and from internal court departments and external agencies. These documents may include court calendars, detainers, notices of cases not presented to the Grand Jury or “no billed,” warrants and other paperwork. The Records Room is also the first point-of-contact for citizens seeking information regarding the expungement of criminal records.
Graphics and Courtroom Presentations
The Graphics and Courtroom Presentations Department plays an integral role in prosecution support. This team provides graphic support for trial presentations including PowerPoint, demonstrative boards, animation, video/audio production and editing. The department also supports the Administrative Division with various needs including publication design and layout along with visuals for special projects, meetings and conferences.
The Information Technology Department is primarily responsible for supporting the Office’s internal computer network and responding to user needs. The department is also tasked with managing the security of electronic data. In addition, IT staff assist personnel with data collection and maintenance related to conviction rates, dispositions, victim assistance and other project-specific information. Recently, the IT Department began working with a joint technology task force to implement an integrated case management system for criminal justice data in Fulton County which is expected to be fully operational by 2013.
Planning and Development
The Planning and Development Unit of the Administrative Division is responsible for budget enhancements, short and long range strategic planning, and new program development in addition to grant acquisition and compliance. Since its inception, the unit has secured hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding for backlog reduction, prevention programs and, most recently, the establishment of the District Attorney’s Burglary Task Force initiative and additional staff to fight Child Sexual Predators within the Crimes Against Women and Children’s Unit.
The Public Affairs Department is responsible for all media relations and public information functions. The department serves as the District Attorney’s primary liaison with the news media and facilitates press conferences, statements and interviews with the District Attorney, or designee, when appropriate. While information regarding pending criminal cases must be safeguarded in order to ensure effective prosecution of felony defendants, this need must be balanced with the public’s right to know. The Public Affairs Department helps to ensure the accuracy of information released to the media from this office, but also facilitates the ease and timeliness with which the office is able to make this information available. In addition to media relations, the Department is responsible for the production of a variety of printed materials such as brochures, newsletters, informational pamphlets and special reports. The Public Affairs Department also works in tandem with the Victim-Witness Assistance Program to produce the District Attorney’s annual “A Voice for Victims” awards program honoring law enforcement and citizen heroes.
In addition to supervising the Division, the Administrative Deputy District Attorney is also responsible for coordinating the training needs of the District Attorney staff-both mandatory and ad hoc. One of the first mandatory training requirements is the intensive “new attorney” training class. This class is offered once a year and lasts for approximately ten weeks. All Assistant District Attorneys who have begun employment with the Office in the preceding year are required to complete the class. Topics include office policy and procedures, ethics and professionalism, pre-trial motions, plea negotiations and recommendations and trial preparation. In addition, other specialized training is provided periodically in relation to criminal justice legislation and/or policies.