Improving Prosecution
 

National Prosecutor's Consortium

Justice & Security Strategies, Inc. in partnership with the Prosecutors' Center for Excellence conducted a national survey of prosecutor's offices. Prosecutors from 25 states participated in this survey. State reports were produced for each state where at least 33% of offices completed sufficient detail of key survey questions. In addition, a national report combining the results of all 740 responding agency was also produced.

 
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National Report Key Findings

  • Results based on 740 (57%) responding agencies out of 1296 sampled from 25 states.

  • Most agencies (81%) had budgets under $5 million. On average prosecutor's offices reported employing 17.5 full-time attorneys and 27.1 full-time non-attorneys.

  • Agencies in the West had the highest average starting salary for new prosecutors at $62,923. Agencies in the South had the lowest average starting salary at $51,008.

  • Most offices (72%) reported offering Drug courts. Fewer offices reported offering Veterans (31%), Mental Health (29%), Alcohol/Sobriety (23%), or Domestic Violence (20%) courts. Very few offices offered Community (3%), Human Trafficking (3%), Re-entry (3%), or Homeless (2%) courts.

  • Over 86% of agencies reported offering Victim Assistance programs. Many agencies also offer Witness Assistance (63%), Victim Services without arrest (59%), and Restitution (58%) programs.

  • Most agencies report using Electronic Case Management systems (63%) and Electronic Discovery (63%). Almost all agencies (92%) reports using technology in the courtroom.

 

Reforms and Advances in Prosecution

Improving Prosecution

Recent years has seen a spate of efforts to introduce innovation in prosecution. These topics discuss many of the programs that have been attempting to improve the prosecutorial process by making it more effective, efficient, and fair.

Criminal Justice Reform

The overly punitive nature of the U.S. criminal justice system has led to an explosion of the prison population. Activists, policy-makers, and academics agree that the current system is unsustainable. These topics discuss a number of reforms that may improve the criminal justice system and reduce incarceration and recidivism.

Addressing Injustice

The Black Lives Matters protests of 2020 brought the issues of race/ethnicity, justice, and equality to the forefront of conversation, but inequality has been festering in the justice system for a very long time. The topics in this area are concerned with understanding and addressing the biases that exist for people of color in the criminal justice system.

 

Strategies for Offenders, Victims, and Witnesses

Special Populations

Particular populations are at increased risk for particular types of victimization. Further, some groups of offenders and victims require extra attention or care by prosecutors due to specific challenges that they face. Topics in this section explore some of these special populations and the issues that  prosecutors encounter.

Witnesses and Victims

Prosecutor's offices cannot solely focus on offenders. Crime is a social harm that impacts many individuals over time. Two of the most critical categories of individuals affected by crime are victims and witnesses of crime. In this section, topics address some of the issues that prosecutors encounter with victims and witnesses of crime.

Crime Specific Issues

Certain types of crime present challenges to prosecutors. Some types of crime are difficult to prosecute due to the nature of the offense. Other types of crime may direct a considerable amount of public attention or concern. Still other types of crime may be particularly impactful in communities and represent an urgent problem. These topics discuss a variety of types of crime and the unique issues they present.

 

Practice of Prosecution

Evidence

Advances in technology have led to dramatic impacts on the usage of evidence in prosecutor's offices. Due to the proliferation of information technology there has been a dramatic expansion of digital evidence that must be collected, stored, shared, and examined. Scientific work has led to the proliferation of some types of evidence and the questioning of others. This section presents a collection of topics that discuss some of these changes in the nature and role of evidence.

Role of the Prosecutor

The subjects in this section all discuss the role of the prosecutor. Of particular importance is how prosecutors interface with other agencies in the criminal justice system. Further discussed is the particular role that prosecutors play at various stages in the criminal justice process.

 

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