Nearly everyone who works within the criminal court system has the power to affect people’s lives. Whether a victim, a defendant, a witness or a family member of one of those players, our actions can determine whether someone goes on to live a responsible, productive life, develops faith or cynicism in the criminal court system, or loses their liberty. It is a tremendous responsibility that demands our full attention, our best effort and judgment, and a willingness to tackle each case singularly.
In addition to this responsibility, we see the horrific details that accompany many criminal cases. We see the injuries to a victim through photos. We hear screaming and pleading for help on 911 calls. We read police reports detailing the devastation that led to the criminal charge. We witness the collateral damage to children and other family members. We have all of this while dealing with exorbitant caseloads and working through a worldwide pandemic, neither of which yet has an expiration date.
This, of course, equates to a great deal of stress, which will take a significant mental toll if not properly managed. Now is the time to proactively address the stresses of this job so that we support our employees and keep caring people in the jobs they love. That is why I asked Sugar Grove-based therapist Jada Hudson to write about prosecutor emotional well-being. Dr. Hudson, M.S., LCPC, CADC, is a clinically trained therapist with more than 20 years of experience. She specializes in counseling first responders who have experienced occupational stress and trauma.
I encourage lawyers and administrative staff alike to read this article, and to understand that the stress and trauma that goes with working in a prosecutor’s office is to be expected. Hopefully, this will begin a long overdue discussion on how to help those who have made helping others their career choice. I hope you will find this information to be helpful in managing stress and trauma.
– Jamie L. Mosser, Kane County State’s Attorney
Emotional Wellness for Prosecutors
By: Jada Hudson
-Article available for download here.