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story.lead_photo.caption Matt Durrett

FAYETTEVILLE -- Prosecutor Matt Durrett is seeking a second term serving the 4th Judicial District, which includes Washington and Madison counties.

"I consider it a privilege and an honor to have served as prosecuting attorney these past four years, and I hope that voters would give me their trust for another four years," Durrett said Tuesday.

Durrett, 44, filed for re-election Monday in Little Rock. He took office Jan. 1, 2015, and oversees 17 deputy prosecutors who handle cases in circuit, juvenile, district, drug and veterans courts.

Durrett said the region's rapid growth in recent years has brought an increase in crime.

"We've got an office handling an unprecedented amount of new criminal cases. Last year, we filed 3,700 cases, five years ago, in 2012, it was 2,100," he said. "We've been challenged with staying on top of that, with handling a large number of new felony cases, and we've done a good job of getting these cases resolved."

Durrett said overcrowding in the local jails and state prison means he and his deputies have to decide which people need to go to prison and which ones may be better served by a diversion program, probation or fines.

"I think this office has had a reputation for a long time of making sure that at the end of the day justice is done. I think over the last four years we have continued that and that's the main goal I have when I come into the office every day, to do the right thing," Durrett said.

The nonpartisan position pays just over $155,000 per year. The election for judges and prosecutors is May 22.

Durrett, a native of West Memphis, received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, graduating law school in 1998. He was hired as a deputy prosecutor and promoted in 2004 to senior deputy prosecutor, then chief deputy in 2007.

Durrett is a former president of the Washington County Bar Association and a tenured member of the Arkansas Bar Association House of Delegates. He is a member of the Arkansas Prosecuting Attorneys Association, serving on the board of directors and as a member of the legislative committee. He is an adjunct professor of law at the University of Arkansas School of Law and has taught trial advocacy at the National Advocacy Center in Columbia, S.C.

NW News on 02/28/2018

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