This was a busy year for District Attorney Jody Owens and his team at the Hinds County District Attorney’s Office. As the graphs below reflect, compared to 2021, 2022 saw: 15% more criminal felony cases resolved; 33% more guilty pleas; 3% more cases resolved in pretrial diversion; and, 16% more cases resolved through trials, pleas, dismissals, or diversions. This means that 2022 saw 25% more active cases resolved through guilty verdicts, guilty pleas, or pretrial diversion.
These results are no accident; instead, they represent the impact the District Attorney’s Office has had on the Hinds County Criminal Justice System through focusing on quality work product and innovative criminal justice reform. This year also saw the addition of new staff positions thanks, in large part, to the Office’s work with State, Legislative, and Judicial leadership. These positions were filled with experienced attorneys from both the public and private sectors. DA Owens is proud of the top-notch prosecutorial team that has been assembled over his first three years in office. Indeed, this may be why, in 2022, 50% more criminal defendants decided to change their pleas to guilty mid-trial, after seeing, first-hand, the State’s case against them. Overall, with the additional funding from our partners in State government, 2022 saw 80% of active criminal cases resolved via guilty verdicts, guilty pleas, or pretrial diversion.
This year, the Hinds County District Attorney’s Office secured convictions in the largest public embezzlement scandal in Mississippi history. The Office launched the Reentry program which addresses recidivism by offering assistance to recently incarcerated individuals enabling them to return to their communities as productive citizens. Our office provided expungements, free of charge, to over 100 individuals, bringing the total expungements to 265 since 2020. Expungements enable people to obtain a clean slate and removes barriers to productive citizenship. The District Attorney’s Office is also committed to developing future leaders. Our office offers internships, clerkships, and fellowships to undergraduate students and law students. Over the past three years, we have welcomed students from Jackson State University, Tougaloo College, Mississippi College School of Law, the University of Mississippi School of Law, and other institutions in Hinds County and around the State. But, perhaps, what the office is most proud of is our work in the community; whether it is victims assistance, serving lunch to our law enforcement heroes, or participating in the District Attorney’s Annual Christmas Toy Drive, DA Owens and his team are dedicated to community involvement and support.
The Office invites you to review the charts and graphs below, which reflect a positive year for criminal justice in Hinds County. The numbers show that the criminal justice system in Hinds County is on the right trajectory and, with the continued support from our State and Federal partners, we can keep that momentum going into 2023 and beyond.
Year in Review: Comparing the Numbers
Grand Jury Action: 2,067 Counts Presented
When the police or other law enforcement agency makes a felony arrest, the case is submitted to the District Attorney’s Office for presentation to the Hinds County Grand Jury. The Grand Jury is charged with either indicting the individual for the crime charged or returning a “no-bill.” An indictment is the formal charging instrument that charges the individual with the crime and is the first step in the prosecutorial process.
In 2022, the Hinds County District Attorney’s Office presented 2,067 felony counts to the Hinds County Grand Jury, which returned 1,879 indictments.
Felony Cases Resolved: 1,017 Cases, 1,489 Counts
In calendar year 2022, the Hinds County District Attorney’s Office represented the citizens of Hinds County in 1,017 felony criminal prosecutions, putting a significant dent in the backlog caused by the pandemic.
The Hinds Count District Attorney’s Office is committed to Smart Justice, evaluating every case in terms of the best result for both the victim and the community. To accomplish this goal, the Office puts special emphasis on pretrial programs aimed at reducing recidivism and making victims whole. The District Attorney’s Office is also instrumental in assisting citizens, who have paid their debt to society, to expunge eligible convictions.
For more information about the Hinds County District Attorney’s Office, please call (601) 968-6568.