About the Division
The Criminal Division of the Department of Justice is responsible for the prosecution of criminal cases throughout the State from misdemeanors to murders. Its mission is to represent the State in criminal cases, and in so doing safeguard the human rights of victims and their families and the constitutional rights of defendants. This responsibility includes the preparation and presentation of criminal cases before the Superior Court, the Court of Common Pleas, and in some matters before the Justice of the Peace Courts. The Criminal Division also provides legal assistance to other law enforcement agencies and administers the Victim/Witness Assistance Program. The Division is managed by the State Prosecutor, Sean Lugg, who is appointed by the Attorney General. The Criminal Division maintains offices in each of Delaware’s three counties. Each of the county offices is headed by a County Prosecutor, who is appointed by the Attorney General and reports through the State Prosecutor. In New Castle County, the office includes the Homicide Unit, New Castle County Felony Trial Unit, Wilmington Trial Unit, Child Predator Unit, Felony Screening Unit, Misdemeanor Trial Unit and Violent Criminal Enterprise Unit. In Kent and Sussex Counties the office is organized into a Felony Trial Unit, a Felony Screening Unit and a Misdemeanor Trial Unit. The Appeals Unit, Crime Strategies Unit, Domestic Violence Unit, Special Victims Unit, and Traffic Safety Unit are statewide.
Units of the Criminal Division
Special Victims Unit
The Special Victims Unit (“SVU”) handles cases that involve some of our most vulnerable victims we serve. The SVU puts those responsible for cases dealing with sex crimes, child victims and child predators into a single unit led by Josette Manning who serves as the SVU Head.
The Sex Crimes Unit, under the umbrella of the SVU, prosecutes all sex offenders. The Unit is comprised of Deputy Attorneys General, social workers, paralegals, and administrative assistants. The social workers participate in the interviews with police officers and victims and act as liaisons between victims and the Unit’s prosecutors. The social workers also assist victims in applying to the Victims’ Compensation Assistance Program (“VCAP”) for compensation.
The Child Predator Unit, also under the SVU umbrella, employs dedicated investigative and prosecutorial resources to identify, pursue, prosecute and punish criminals who seek to prey on Delaware’s children. With specially trained and dedicated staff, the Child Predator Unit works collaboratively with the Delaware State Police and other agencies in a proactive effort to identify and track down predators and pedophiles before they can harm our children.
Every community is different and faces its own unique set of challenges in the crime fight. The people who live in these communities, along with community leaders and local officials, know these challenges the best. Whether it is a problem with speeding cars or a group of violent criminals, law enforcement can fight crime best when the channels of communication are open among the community, the police and the Department of Justice. To that end, the Criminal Division felony trial resources in New Castle County are focused on geographic prosecution. The Wilmington and New Castle County Units form partnerships with police and community members to target crimes specific to their districts and to work on crime prevention.
Criminal Nuisance Abatement
There are properties in our neighborhoods that we all recognize – places we avoid and don’t let our kids walk past because the criminal activity taking place there brings down the surrounding community. They are the bad apples spoiling the bunch, because the owners of these homes and businesses turn a blind eye to drug crime, prostitution, illegal gambling, and other activity that flourishes there.