Kane County prosecutors authorized 9.6 percent fewer felony case filings in 2012 than in 2011, according to the annual report released Tuesday by Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon.
At his monthly press meeting, McMahon said he couldn't point to any one reason for the decrease and the numbers have fluctuated from year to year. The peak was in 2007, with more than 3,700 felony cases filed, he said. Last year, 2,620 felony cases were filed.
Aurora and Elgin, which provide more than 50 percent of the felony cases, had "historically low volumes" of violent crime in 2012, he said. Aurora celebrated going a year without a murder for the first time in 66 years.
There is a "seeming decrease in violent crime, not just here in Kane County, but across northern Illinois," outside of Chicago, McMahon said.
He reported the office's 2012 conviction rate was 95 percent, about the same as it has been.
The office saw an increase in heroin-related cases, he said, but did not have a specific number. And while users from Kane may still take the "Heroin Highway" (I-88 to the Eisenhower Expressway) to buy heroin on the West Side of Chicago, they also can get it closer to home.
Aurora and Elgin are distribution hubs for product from the Pacific Northwest, Mexico, the West Coast and Chicago, he said.
Projects the office is working on include determining the recidivism of people who complete its five pretrial diversion programs: felony/misdemeanor, misdemeanor drug/alcohol, domestic violence, solicitation/prostitution and felony drug.
The last was added in 2012 when 845 people were admitted, 552 graduated and 161 were negatively terminated.
McMahon said spending in eight of his nine funds was at or below budget; drug prosecution was the exception, at 101 percent of budget. Revenue was up.
He said misdemeanor criminal filings declined again.