Cuyahoga County

Veteran prosecutor Deskins adds First Assistant duties


Cleveland – Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty has named Duane Deskins to be his First Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, the No. 2 legal position in the office.

Deskins, a federal prosecutor for more than 30 years, joined the Prosecutor’s Office in December 2013 as Chief Prosecutor in the Juvenile Division and Director of Crime Prevention.

Prosecutor McGinty said Deskins will continue to lead the office’s juvenile justice and anti-crime efforts in addition to taking on new duties overseeing its adult criminal units and serving as the prosecutor’s chief legal adviser on all criminal justice matters.

“By appointing Duane as First Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, I want to underscore that I see our efforts with both juvenile and adult defendants as a seamless operation aimed at making our streets safer and raising public confidence in the justice system,” Prosecutor McGinty said.

He added, “Everything Duane has done in his career as a prosecutor has prepared him for the responsibility and challenges he is now taking.”

During his tenure at Justice Department, Deskins worked as an Assistant United States Attorney in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and his native Cleveland. Besides directing more than 1,000 criminal investigations and prosecuting hundreds of cases, he helped shape and implement the department’s Project Safe Neighborhood and Project Sentry (PSN) strategy to reduce violent crime using data-driven initiatives and broad-based community collaborations.

Since taking charge of the Juvenile Justice Division, Deskins has led a proactive effort to crack down on youth gang violence within the Detention Center and in neighborhoods throughout Cuyahoga County. He has worked with police chiefs and community groups alike to deter juvenile crime and present at-risk youngsters with more positive options. He has also forged closer ties between prosecutors at Juvenile Court and those who work downtown at the Justice Center.

“This integration of efforts has been long overdue,” said Prosecutor McGinty. “If we deal with juvenile offenders effectively today, the impacts will ripple throughout the adult criminal system and our community for years to come.’’

The only child of a single mother, Deskins grew up in the Glenville and Shaker Square neighborhoods and graduated from St. Ignatius High School. He received his undergraduate and law degrees from Boston College.

Contact: Joseph Frolik, Director of Communications and Public Policy. Phone: (216) 443-7488 or Cell: (216) 640-6186