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, Kathleen M. Jennings, who is appointed by the Attorney General and reports through the Chief Deputy 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 is organized into several units. These units include the Homicide Unit, New Castle County Felony Trial Unit, Wilmington Trial Unit, Sex Crimes Unit, Child Predator Unit, Child Victims Unit (jointly with the Family Division), Felony Screening Unit and the Misdemeanor Trial Unit. In Kent and Sussex Counties the office is organized into a Felony Trial Unit, a Felony Screening Unit, a Sex Crimes Unit, and a Misdemeanor Trial Unit. The Child Predator Unit, located in Kent County, and the Child Victims Unit has statewide jurisdiction.
Child Victim Prosecutions
The Criminal Division has focused its resources on prosecuting predators who abuse our most vulnerable population, children. The Child Predator Unit has initiated the investigation and prosecution of 170 cases since its inception in 2007. Recently, the Criminal and Family Units formed the Child Victims' Unit to lend expertise in investigating and to prosecute child death and serious physical injury cases statewide.
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. Read More...