Sessions adding 300 prosecutors — DOJ’s biggest boost in decades
WASHINGTON – U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is adding more than 300 prosecutors around the nation to fight the opioid epidemic, violent crime and immigration violations.
The 311 new assistant attorney positions will mark the biggest addition of prosecutors in decades, the Department of Justice said.
The prosecutors will be deployed throughout the U.S., with 190 focused on violent crimes, 86 on civil enforcement and 35 on immigration-related crimes.
“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,” Sessions said in a statement.
Sessions said the multimillion-dollar endeavor was made available by cutting “wasteful spending” within the department. The department’s 2018 budget laid out $1.5 billion in funding redirections and $702 million in program eliminations and reductions, all of which would have helped pave the way for the hirings.
“I have personally worked to repurpose existing funds to support this critical mission, and as a former federal prosecutor myself, my expectations could not be higher,” Sessions said. “These exceptional and talented prosecutors are key leaders in our crime fighting partnership.”
Sessions said many of the positions in civil enforcement will be focused on his department’s newly created task force targeting opioids.
Opioid distributors and manufacturers have been a focus of the department since startling statistics showed an alarming increase in drug-related deaths. In 2016, more than 42,000 people died of overdoses from opioids.