Neighborhood prosecutor ready to assist Midtown

A neighborhood prosecutor who deals with municipal court  crimes is now available to Midtown.

Abby Mueller has been working with neighborhoods on the east side, but more funding now allows her to extend into neighborhoods in the central, metro and south police districts as well.

She has been a city prosecutor for 17 years, she said, and she and investigator Evalin McClain will be available to help with problems or answer questions.

Their work would involve less serious crimes than those handled by Jackson County prosecutors. But crimes like  repeated petty theft and property destruction can corrode neighborhoods.

“Sometimes it’s just nice to have a person they can call who can say, try this, try that,” Mueller said.

One goal of city neighborhood prosecution is to reduce crime and the high recidivism of habitual offenders, she said. If a person is committing crimes because of mental illness or substance abuse, for instance, she can try to get him or her to the appropriate city court and treatment.

Another goal is to address crime with community involvement, to build the relationship with police and the community.

For instance, on the east side this year, they started Neighborhood Accountability Boards. Those consist of trained community members and mediators working with first-time, non-violent offenders.

The offender tells what was behind his action and the victim tells the effect of it. The two work with the board to devise an appropriate action that can also involve things like substance abuse treatment or mentoring.

About 50 community members took the six hours of training needed to participate in the groups, Mueller said.

Possibly by fall, she said, “I would like to set that up in other areas.”

Two trained mediators work with the boards at first but that will go down to one or maybe none as the boards progress, she said.

“The ultimate goal is to have the neighborhoods be much more involved,” she said.

With the added territory, Mueller said, she hopes to persuade other city prosecutors to also attend neighborhood meetings and provide other help.

She can be contacted at 816-513-6742 or at

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