Community Prosecution: Expert Assistance
The Center for Court Innovation, with support from the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance, provides information and technical assistance to community prosecutors across the country. The Center does this by documenting innovative community-based public safety strategies, providing hands-on consulting services to prosecutors' offices, and creating state-of-the-art training workshops in collaboration with the American Prosecutors Research Institute and leading practitioners in the field.
The Center's services include:
- Site visits
- Hands-on assistance
- Research and writing
Site visits are one of the best vehicles for introducing prosecutors and their stakeholders to the idea of community justice. The Center offers structured tours of the Red Hook Community Justice Center, which provides a prime example of how prosecutors and courts have worked with local residents to achieve concrete, real-world results. A visit to Red Hook introduces prosecutors (and other criminal justice officials) to the core principles of community prosecution and provides them with an opportunity to learn first-hand from peers. Visitors can also use their visit to Red Hook to brainstorm new approaches to problems back home.
The Center for Court Innovation provides intensive one-on-one assistance in the planning, implementation, and enhancement of community prosecution programs. Assistance is available in five main areas:
1. NEEDS ASSESSMENT
A needs assessment helps pinpoint pressing local problems, providing quantitative and qualitative data to sharpen prosecutors’ understanding of the issues at hand.
2. CONCEPT PAPER
Once the problems have been clearly defined, the Center can help prosecutors create innovative solutions in the form of a detailed concept paper that spells out the scope and goals of a community prosecution program.
3. PROJECT DEVELOPMENT
Armed with a clear, detailed idea about how to proceed, the Center can make it happen by helping clients identify ways to overcome hurdles and obstacles, and devise new ways to engage the community and potential government partners.
The Center can help planners evaluate the project by establishing performance measures and assessing its actual impact on the community it is serving.
Finally, the Center can assist with troubleshooting, helping program managers analyze operations and make mid-course adjustments.
The Center works closely with the American Prosecutors Research Institute to develop community prosecution workshops that provide comprehensive assistance to prosecutors looking for new, innovative solutions to local problems. Course topics have included: Marshalling Resources for Community Prosecution; Organizational Issues for the Office; Engaging the Community to Reduce Gun Crime; and Prosecutors and Problem-Solving Courts.
For those unable to take advantage of these programs in person, the Center has developed a three-hour training curriculum for prosecutors, The Prosecutor as Problem-Solver: An Overview of Community Prosection, intended to provide an introduction to community prosecution.
The Center for Court Innovation is also available to design trainings, tailored to meet the individual needs of local prosecutors’ offices, and provides speakers on a range of topics.
Research and writing
Center for Court Innovation researchers are available to conduct original research, including both impact and process evaluations, and to produce publications.
The Center has produced a number of profiles and other publications about community prosecution programs; click here to read the Center’s community prosecution-related publications, or visit the Research page to learn more about the Center’s research team and its projects.