Oklahoma District Attorneys Council – 19 O.S. § 215.28
The District Attorneys Training and Coordination Council (DATCC) was created by the Oklahoma Legislature in 1976 to strengthen the criminal justice system in Oklahoma, to provide a professional organization for the education, training and coordination of technical efforts of all state prosecutors, and to maintain and improve prosecutor efficiency and effectiveness in enforcing the laws of this state. At that time, the primary role of the Council was training. In 1982, when all general operations of the district attorney system became state funded, the role of the Council expanded and the Council became responsible for additional financial, personnel, and other administrative duties.
Over the years, additional duties have been added to the Council. In 1988, the name of the agency was changed to the District Attorneys Council to reflect these duties. The Council is the administrative agency for the Crime Victims Compensation Board and the state administrator of many federal grants. The two largest are the Justice Assistance Grant and the Victims of Crime Act from the Department of Justice. The Council also determines the appropriate method of allocating funds and positions for the prosecutorial system and administers the District Attorneys Evidence Fund.
The Oklahoma District Attorneys Council is governed by a five member council. The Board consist of the Oklahoma Attorney General or designee, the President of the Oklahoma District Attorneys Association, the President-Elect of the Oklahoma District Attorneys Association, a District Attorney selected by the Oklahoma Bar Association, and a District Attorney selected by the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals.
The Executive Coordinator of the District Attorneys Council is appointed and supervised by the Council. The Executive Coordinator oversees the day-to-day functions of the agency. The District Attorneys Council consists of five departments: Executive, Finance, Federal Grants, Victim Services, and Information Technology.
The Executive Division is comprised of the Executive Coordinator, Assistant Executive Coordinator, General Counsel, Events and Publications Assistant, Executive Assistant, Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor, a Legal Administrative Assistant and a Receptionist. Six of these staff members are funded primarily from state appropriations, one through the Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) and one through the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office.
This division serves as state government liaison between the district attorney system, the state Legislature, and other state entities, such as the Cabinet Secretary, OSBI, DOC, Risk Management, State Auditor, Finance, EBC, OPM, and more. Also, the General Counsel is a liaison to DHS for Child Support agreements and liaison to the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office.
As mandated by state law, this division designs, plans, and produces training conferences and seminars for prosecutors and support staff during the year. Additionally, the division handles general distribution of information to districts, monitors legislation, and researches questions on matters of interest to the prosecutorial system, concerning criminal justice, juvenile justice, and other areas of law. The division also prepares a publication updating criminal and pertinent civil case law.
The Finance Division is comprised of the Director of Finance, Payroll Officer, Procurement Officer, Insurance/Retirement Officer, Accounting Manager, Human Resource Manager and two Finance Clerks. These eight positions are funded mostly from state appropriations.
This division is primarily responsible for the following: payroll, annual budget requests, bi-annual strategic plans, and the budget work programs (BWP). Before funds can be expended within the district attorney system, the BWP must be approved by the Office of State Finance (OSF). The Payroll, Human Resource and Insurance/Retirement Officers process all personnel and payroll-related transactions for over 1,100 employees within the district attorney system.
The Finance Division is responsible for travel arrangements, processing travel claims, purchase orders, accounts payables, reconciliations with OSF and the State Treasurer’s Office, in addition to several annual reports required of the agency.
The Federal Grants Division of the Oklahoma District Attorneys Council serves as a liaison between the federal government and the sub-grantees in implementing federal grant funds. Currently this division oversees nine (9) formulary and discretionary federal grant programs serving as the contact point for the state with the federal
Federal funds are available from the Federal Grants Division on drugs and violent crime, domestic violence and sexual assault, residential substance abuse treatment, forensic science improvement, and efforts to reduce gun and gang violence.
Current grants include: Justice Assistance Grant (JAG), National Criminal History Improvement Program (NCHIP), Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grant Act (Coverdell), Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), Recovery Act: Justice Assistance Grant (JAG), Recovery Act: Justice Assistance Grant (JAG-LLE), Recovery Act: S.T.O.P. Violence Against Women Act Grant (VAWA), Residential Substance Abuse Treatment Grant (RSAT), Sexual Assault Services Program Grant (SASP), S.T.O.P. Violence Against Women Act Grant (VAWA).
The Victims Services Division is comprised of the Director of Victims Services, a Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Specialist, a Public Information Officer, a Restitution Specialist, a Board Claims Examiner, an Administrative Claims Examiner, an Accounting Manager, a Victims Assistance Clerk and a Tribal Resource Liaison. These nine positions are funded completely from program revenues and federal funds; no state appropriations. The Victims Services Division is primarily responsible for the Crime Victims Compensation Fund, restitution/subrogation, the Sexual Assault Examination Fund, the Victim of Crime Act (VOCA) Grants, and support of the district attorney victims services divisions throughout the state.
The entire Victims Services Division is operated without state appropriations. Both administrative costs and direct payments to victims and sub-grantees were paid primarily through fines and penalty assessments placed on state and federal offenders. The remaining costs were paid from federal grant funding.
The Victims Services Division staff continues to participate in national training, meetings and debates regarding victims’ assistance and compensation. In addition, the staff shares knowledge with others state programs by serving on the Board of Directors for both the National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards and the National Association of Victims Assistance Administrators.
The IT Division is comprised of the Director, Network Administrator, Database Administrator, two JustWare Administrators, Systems Administrator, two Network Technicians, and an Administrative Assistant. These nine positions are funded primarily through user fees, charged to each of the twenty-seven District Attorneys. A small portion, less than 30%, is funded by state appropriations.
The IT Division is responsible for the administration, security and maintenance of the Oklahoma District Attorneys Wide Area Network (ODAWAN). The DAC-IT staff is responsible for supporting approximately 750 end users and 58 servers in 80 different offices across the state. As part of the ODAWAN project, the IT staff provides the DA’s and their staff with statewide IT support for Internet access, e-mail, files servers, and other software.