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2023 Achievements and Accomplishments

​​​​​​​This year, the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office successfully fulfilled its goals thanks to the Board of Commissioners. We were facing numerous challenges including school threats, gun violence, domestic abuse, and mental health issues and the office has initiated programs to tackle all of these issues.  In 2023, we also exonerated an innocent man through the Conviction Integrity Unit, collected more money for Macomb County children in back child support than ever before, exceeded all expectations in securing grant funding, reached tens of thousands of seniors to prevent financial crimes, improved the office processes and procedures, and we are eager to achieve further progress in 2024.

 

Successful prosecutions:  The Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office successfully prosecuted murders, rapists, thieves and other criminals throughout 2023.

More Child support collected for Macomb County children:  Under the direction of Prosecutor Peter J. Lucido, the Family Support Division has instituted a program with Felony Non-support cases. As a result, the office has successfully collected over $501,864.82 in 2023, channeling much-needed money towards the support and care of the county's children.

Child support collection program - Prosecutor Lucido coordinated a child support collection program for parents who owe child support ordered through Macomb County Circuit Court.  This program is a targeted effort to offer a fresh opportunity to parents who are behind on their child support payments, allowing them to rectify their obligations without legal consequences.

More grants, more access to justice: The Macomb County Prosecutor's Office has exceeded its expectations in securing grant funding, thanks to the support from the Macomb County Board of Commissioners. Prosecutor Lucido's foresight in hiring a professional grant coordinator has resulted in the acquisition of over $2.5 million in grants, at the cost of only $35,000. 

School threats are taken seriously:  in 2023, The Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office zero tolerance policy resulted in 108 charges of communicating a threat of terrorism (20 year felony), calling in a bomb threat (four year felony), threatening violence against a school, employee or students (one year felony), or malicious use of a phone or computer (six month misdemeanor).

Conviction Integrity Unit exonerates innocent man:  On March 20, 2023,  after an extensive investigation and file review by the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office Conviction Integrity Unit (CIU), Prosecutor Peter J. Lucido asked the court to release Mack Howell from the Michigan Department of Corrections after serving 7.5 years of a 25-50 year sentence.

First appeal filed to the U.S. Supreme Court: In October 2023, the Prosecutor’s Office filed its first Writ of Certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court Circuit Court, in the case of People of the State of Michigan v Anthony Joseph Veach.

Senior SCAMS: Prosecutor Lucido’s “Stopping Crimes Against Macomb Seniors” SCAMS program has delivered booklets to Macomb County seniors.  Prosecutor Lucido and staff have also conducted 85 SCAMS presentations in Macomb County for various groups and organizations.

Big dollars in restitution paid to victims: The Macomb County Prosecutor's Office Consumer Protection Unit has successfully secured over $500,000 in restitution this year, marking a significant milestone in the fight against financial crimes in Macomb County.  Under the leadership of Prosecutor Lucido, the Consumer Protection Unit has achieved a commendable feat by ensuring that victims of various financial crimes are compensated for their losses. 

Macomb County Prosecutor seeks mental health evaluations on gun charges: Macomb County Prosecutor Peter J. Lucido announced a two-step plan to address gun crimes:  requesting a mental health evaluation as a condition of bond for felony gun suspects, and no plea bargains that eliminate felonies on assaultive gun charges. In 2020, the year before Lucido took office, felony firearm was charged 146 times. In 2023, it was charged 432 times. In 2020, the year before Lucido took office, carrying a concealed weapon without a license was charged 434 times. In 2023, the five-year felony was charged 533 times. 

Prosecutors prosecuted, even though it took more effort per case:  With more than 650,000 pieces of digital evidence in the system, the volume of digital evidence is higher than it’s ever been, and keeps growing.  

“Knocking Violence Out of My School” Video Competition:  Prosecutor Lucido implemented the second annual  “Knocking Violence Out of My School”  video competition, giving students the opportunity to talk peer to peer about how they feel about school threats, violence, weapons, and bullying.  

Domestic Violence Awareness Campaign: Prosecutor Lucido’s Office created a Domestic Violence Awareness campaign including a social media series, print resources and community outreach to educate citizens on what is domestic violence, what happens if you report the abuse, and resources available.

Stopping violence in schools campaign: In 2023, Prosecutor Lucido provided a “Stopping Violence in Schools: What Parents and Students Need to Know” campaign that includes print and online materials and assistant prosecutors going into the schools and talking to students about threats, violence, weapons and bullying. 

Paperless crime victim rights:  Prosecutor Lucido implemented the county’s first paperless system for crime victims to request rights and notification. Crime victims may now request victim information via text message, or entirely online via the Prosecutor’s Office Website.

Police training provided:  Prosecutor Lucido sent assistant prosecutors to law enforcement agencies in Macomb County and provided 31 training sessions. 

Collaboration with law enforcement: The Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office has conducted five Detective Meetings in 2023.  This collaboration between law enforcement and the Prosecutor’s Office is another example of working together to protect our community.

New case management system improved transparency and efficiency: Prosecutor Lucido’s office implemented a cutting-edge case management system in just eight months, leaving behind a decades-old system. 

Internship Program Grows:  In 2023, the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office had 32 Law school student interns that participated in courtroom proceedings and gained invaluable experience and  67 undergraduate interns that learned about the criminal justice system. 

Macomb County Circuit Court specialty courts: Macomb County Circuit Court has specialty treatment courts in which the prosecutor’s office participates. In 2023, Prosecutor Lucido’s Office worked with 7 participants in Mental Health Court, 23 in Drug Court, 18 in Sobriety Court, 7 in Swift and Sure Sanctions Probation Program, and 10 in Veterans Treatment Court. 

Peanut the prosecutor: In January 2023, the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office added a new addition to the office with Peanut the Prosecutor, a therapy dog that came from the Canine Advocacy Program in connection with CARE House to help survivors of trauma participate in the Criminal Justice System. No tax dollars are used to care for Peanut. 

Providing comfort to abused children: The Crime Victim Advocate Unit revamped the office’s kids room and made it more inviting and more geared towards a child's mindset, especially when being asked uncomfortable topics.

Major crimes unit: Prosecutor Lucido created the Major Crimes Unit with the top major crime assistant prosecutors to work major crimes and train more assistant prosecutors, resulting in more access to justice by victims of major crimes.

Providing transparency: Under Prosecutor Lucido, the Communications Department created transparency by delivering over 200 press releases, implemented a new prosecutor’s department website, created interactive monthly email newsletters, and created numerous social media campaigns to keep the public informed. 

Warrant appeals unit:  Prosecutor Lucido created the Warrant Appeals Division so that if a victim or police officer is not satisfied with a denied warrant, they can ask for a review of the warrant request from the Warrant Appeals Division.  In 2023, 13 warrants were reviewed  and 11 are still in review.

Special prosecutions: Under Prosecutor Lucido’s direction, the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office has prosecuted Macomb County Officials, police officers, and the community equally and fairly.

“Hero Award” tells students and teachers a hero walks among them:  The Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office gave out four hero awards in 2023. 

Macomb County Prosecutor ties office record for national awards:  The Prosecutor’s Office received seven 2023 National Association of Counties Achievement Awards in the category of Criminal Justice and Public Safety.

Prosecutor of the Year Award: Michigan Chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators (MIAAI), a professional association of fire investigation experts, awarded Assistant Prosecuting Attorney and Chief of Trials Sian Hengeveld the Prosecutor of the Year Award for 2023, after a five day jury trial on a murder and arson case.


Since taking office in 2021, Prosecutor Lucido has also accomplished the following:

More assistant prosecutors in the courtroom, more justice.  Thanks to cooperation from the Board of Commissioners, Prosecutor Lucido in 2022 successfully hired more good-paying, full-time union assistant prosecuting attorneys and staff to the Prosecutor’s Office than has ever been done in the county. Cases take longer and require more resources to prosecute due to increased public scrutiny of law enforcement, a large increase in the volume of digital evidence that must be reviewed, and the Public Defender's Office requires more Assistant Prosecutor’s appearances at arraignments.

Partnered with the Families Against Narcotics to form the REDIRECT program.
Redirect seeks to assist persons with a substance use disorder into treatment and rehabilitation rather than prosecuting them for minor criminal offenses. This year 19 people were successfully admitted into the program, 23 pending admissions and 19 not admitted into the program. The cost for the program is funded by a 3 year Federal grant.

iPhones improve communication between assistant prosecutors and crime victims, police agencies, and court staff.  In 2022, thanks to the County Commission, the Prosecutor's Office provided iPhones to assistant prosecuting attorneys making it easier for crime victims, law enforcement, court staff and others to speak with an APA.  Assistant prosecutors may now use the “work phone” to contact witnesses, reducing safety concerns about disclosing personal phone numbers.

Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding (CESF) grant implemented in response to coronavirus.  This year, Prosecutor Lucido implemented a grant that put three part-time assistant prosecutors in courtrooms to assist with the backlog that resulted from COVID, and benefit Macomb County in other ways. These assistant prosecutors handled 1,572 court events.

MDHHS contract offsets costs.  In 2022, Prosecutor Lucido negotiated a contract with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to offset the county’s cost of prosecuting abuse and neglect cases. This includes cases where children suffer injury or neglect such as battering, torture, or other serious physical harm, loss or serious impairment of an organ or limb, or life-threatening injury. The county prosecutor billed the state for approximately $146,886.04 in services, which would otherwise have been paid from the county budget.

First prosecutor’s office in Michigan where crime victims can request rights via text. In 2022, the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office became the first in Michigan to implement technology allowing crime victims to send a text message to receive services from the Crime Victim Advocate Unit.  Crime victims are no longer required to complete physical paperwork or download forms.  Under Michigan law, crime victims have specific rights. The Prosecutor’s Office traditionally sent a form via the U.S. Mail to victims who had to fill it out and mail it back, or scan and upload it, which was a cumbersome process for many.  The texting technology is a modern solution that makes it easier for crime victims to request victim rights in a timely manner.

Assistant prosecutors may now digitally access case info while in district court.  Access to the Office’s case information and digital evidence from every district court in the county was implemented in 2022, thanks to the county IT department. This makes it easier for assistant prosecutors to access information needed to prosecute cases.

Transparent deviation plea requests:  Prosecutor Lucido gave assistant prosecutors more authority and autonomy to resolve cases, and created a system to track when pleas are granted to defendants, with victim consent, when defendants seek to admit guilt by making a plea, paying full restitution and facing other penalties.

Physical improvements to the office.  Prosecutor Lucido partnered with the Anton Art Center, and others, to bring approximately 120 pieces of art and photographs, including from local artists, to the walls of a previously drab office building.