What’s happening?

The number of Baltimore’s assistant state’s attorneys—lawyers responsible for prosecuting the city’s crimes—has declined 24% over the past three years from 217 to 164, according to the office of Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby. COVID-19 has made the mass exodus worse as caseloads piled up during an 18-month pandemic-related shutdown. 

But Baltimore isn’t alone, according to David LaBahn, president of the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, who says attorneys at some prosecutors’ offices across the country are contending with upwards of 120 cases on their docket.

Where are the prosecutors going? 

Assistant state’s attorneys are resigning to work for private law practices outside of the city where they have lighter workloads and possibly higher pay, according to the Baltimore Sun. These turnovers mean that newer, less experienced prosecutors are trying the city’s most consequential cases. 

Anything else I should know? 

Mosby’s office is working to increase retention by boosting salaries by a total of nearly $600,000 and allowing prosecutors to work out of the office twice a week. 

“We’re hoping all of these things, in combination, will address some of the concerns that our people have about the work they do, the volume of the work, the pay and the conditions — which are a challenge,” said Mosby’s chief deputy Michael Schatzow.

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