This annual report "summarizes the work and accomplishments of the United States Attorneys offices during Fiscal Year 1997. […] The United States Attorneys offices conduct most of the criminal prosecutions and civil litigation handled by the Department of Justice. They serve as the critical prosecutorial arm of the Department of Justice responsible for ensuring that the investigative efforts of the law enforcement agencies are pursued and as the nations legal advocates and defenders in civil suits brought by and against the government. The range of their responsibilities is staggering--from prosecuting those individuals who commit violent or terrorist acts to prosecuting corporations or individuals who commit fraud to defending the nation against exorbitant civil lawsuits."
Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys: http://www.justice.gov/usao/