11/05/08 UPDATE: Thank you
York and Union counties for honoring me with a four year term as your Solicitor. It has been my privilege to serve
you over the last 17 years and I will continue to give this job my all over the next four.
Worried About Crime? So Am I.
My name is Kevin Brackett, and if you live in York or Union County, then I am your Solicitor. In South Carolina, the Solicitor is the chief criminal prosecutor for a county, the person responsible for bringing criminals to justice.
Many people think our crime problems are law enforcement issues that the police will handle. While the police are a very important part of the criminal justice system they are only one component of a larger process. The other, equally important, component is the courts. If any part of the overall legal process fails to function properly then the whole system fails.
As your Solicitor, I represent you and our community in the courtroom. Basically, my job is to ensure that the guilty are held accountable for their crimes in a timely fashion and to protect the innocent from unjust prosecution. Without an effective prosecutor, the police could catch every criminal and the community still would not be safe. (scroll down)
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Three yardsticks by which to measure the effectiveness of your Solicitor.
- How quickly do criminal cases go before a judge and jury? This is very important because many criminals are arrested, charged, and then quickly make bail, which means they are released from police custody and allowed back onto the streets. If the Solicitor takes too long to bring cases to court, these criminals can commit other crimes while they wait for their day in court on the first charge. Speedy prosecution prevents a tremendous amount of crime (click here for a case study on that issue). Click here to see how quickly we bring cases to trial in York and Union Counties.
- What is the conviction rate? Speed means nothing if you are achieving it by dismissing every case. The
conviction rate helps you understand the effectiveness of the prosecutor.s office at holding criminals accountable. Click
here to see how we are doing and learn more about this important issue.
- What is the incarceration rate? Speed and a high conviction rate can easily be achieved if you plea bargain with every defendant by offering him or her a light sentence in exchange for an early guilty plea. However, plea bargains usually just mean that the criminal returns to the community more quickly. One way you can determine if this is occurring is by looking at the offender population in the Department of Corrections and examining those numbers to see which counties send the most criminals to prison relative to their population. Click here to see how we are doing.
No other Solicitor's office in South Carolina comes close to accomplishing what we do here in York and Union counties. Our Drug Court, Worthless Check Unit, Juvenile Arbitration Program, DUI Victim Panel, and Don't Cross the Line campaign are just a few examples of our new and ongoing programs designed to keep our community safe.
If you are as concerned about crime as I am, I hope you will take a moment to explore this website and learn more about why your Solicitor's Office is second to none when it comes to keeping you safe and how you can help me make sure it stays that way.