Justice on a budget - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Justice on a budget

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MADISON (WKOW) -- By any measure, budget cuts have decimated District Attorney's offices in Wisconsin.

"We just physically do not have the people to do the job anymore," says Sauk County District Attorney Patricia Barrett.

D.A. staff is paid by the state, so when the Governor and Legislature decided to cut money across the board, prosecutors were included.

"The D.A. budget is entirely labor. So, if you're cutting it, it means you're cutting staff," says Dane County D.A. Brian Blanchard.

Cutting staff that's already less than what the Legislative Audit Bureau determined is needed to adequately prosecute cases in Wisconsin. In 2007, the Bureau said 117 more prosecutors were needed to handle the caseload. Instead, D.A. budgets were cut 8%.

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