Mississippi is getting four additional Assistant U.S. Attorneys. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst announced that the Department of Justice is taking a dramatic step to increase resources to combat violent crime, enforce our immigration laws, and help roll back the devastating opioid crisis.
The U.S. Department of Justice is allocating 311 new Assistant United States Attorneys to assist in priority areas. This will be the largest increase that the DOJ has had in decades. There will be 190 violent crime prosecutors, 86 civil enforcement prosecutors, and 35 additional immigration prosecutors. Many of the civil enforcement AUSA’s will support the newly created Prescription Interdiction & Litigation Task Force which targets the opioid crisis at every level of the distribution system.
In the Southern District of Mississippi, four of these Assistant United States attorneys will focus on violent crime and one on affirmative civil enforcement.
“Under President Trump’s strong leadership, the Department of Justice is going on offense against violent crime, illegal immigration, and the opioid crisis—and today we are sending in reinforcements,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “We have a saying in my office that a new federal prosecutor is ‘the coin of the realm.’ When we can eliminate wasteful spending, one of my first questions to my staff is if we can deploy more prosecutors to where they are needed. I have personally worked to re-purpose existing funds to support this critical mission, and as a former federal prosecutor myself, my expectations could not be higher. These exceptional and talented prosecutors are key leaders in our crime-fighting partnership. This addition of new Assistant U.S. Attorney positions represents the largest increase in decades.”
In December 2017, U.S. Attorney Hurst launched Project EJECT, a holistic, multi-disciplinary approach to fighting and reducing violent crime in the City of Jackson through prosecution, prevention, re-entry, and awareness. EJECT stands for “Empower Jackson Expel Crime Together.”
Project EJECT is part of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhood (PSN) a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.
“I want to thank Attorney General Sessions for these new federal prosecutors, which will allow us to do even more good work under Project EJECT in the City of Jackson and will help us expand our crime-fighting abilities exponentially throughout the Southern District of Mississippi,” said U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst. “The addition of a new civil prosecutor will also help us go on the offensive in attacking the opioid crisis here at home, as well as holding those who defraud the American taxpayer accountable in our courts. Today is a great day for our state and our nation, as these actions will greatly increase the safety of our neighborhoods, enrich the lives of our citizens, and safeguard the American pocketbook.”
During the first six months of Project EJECT, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has indicted over 50 criminals in the City of Jackson, ranging from carjacking to business robberies to felons illegally possessing firearms to illegal drugs. According to recent statistics released by the Jackson Police Department, the violent crime numbers for the City of Jackson have significantly decreased, dropping almost 25% from this same time last year.