What Does a District Attorney Do?

He is to judge between the people and the government; he is to be the safeguard of the one and the advocate for the rights of the other; he ought not to suffer the innocent to be oppressed or vexatiously harassed, any more than those who deserve prosecution to escape; he is to pursue guilt; he is to protect innocence; he is to judge the circumstances, and, according to their true complexion, to combine the public welfare and the safety of the citizens, preserving both, and not impairing either; he is to decline the use of individual passions and individual malevolence, when he can not use them for the advantage of the public; he is to lay hold of them where public justice, in sound discretions, requires it.
Catherine Fout v. State of Tennessee 4 Tenn. 98 (1816)


In Tennessee, District Attorneys General are elected by the citizens of their judicial districts to serve a term of eight years. They are responsible for the prosecution of criminal cases on behalf of the state, but ultimately their day-to-day responsibilities include so much more.

They advocate for victims to ensure their constitutional rights are protected and assist them in navigating the criminal justice process. They partner with treatment centers, nonprofits and support services throughout their communities in an effort to prevent crime. They advocate and defend our most vulnerable populations, such as elders and children. And last but not least, they oversee the administrative needs of their offices to ensure their teams are equipped with the training, support and resources they need.

Prevention and Advocacy

When it comes to safety and prevention, Tennessee District Attorneys know the importance of being tough on crime and stopping it at the source.
Violent crime is on the rise in Tennessee.
Here are a few Tennessee crime statistics compared to the national average (rates per 100,000 residents in 2019):
Aggravated Assault

457
TENNESSEE

250
NATIONAL

Violent Crime Victimization

595
TENNESSEE

379
NATIONAL

Homicide

7
TENNESSEE

5
NATIONAL

Home Break-ins

333
TENNESSEE

211
NATIONAL

The 32 Tennessee District Attorneys and their teams are in the courtroom each week prosecuting crimes, advocating for victims and fighting to create safe communities for all Tennesseans. Their firsthand experience makes them uniquely aware and equipped to improve public safety and stand up against violent criminals.

Here are a few ways District Attorneys are accomplishing this:
In addition, DAs have launched prevention campaigns across the state to educate Tennesseans on safety and health measures.
Check out the icons below to learn more about these initiatives.
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