Community prosecution is founded on the idea that prosecutors have a responsibility not only to prosecute cases but to solve public safety problems, prevent crime and improve public confidence in the justice system. Around the country, prosecutors are taking on new responsibilities that reflect this shift—working out of neighborhood offices and collaborating with others (including residents, community groups and other government agencies) in the development of problem-solving initiatives. In many cases, community stakeholders actually help to set the crime-fighting agenda and participate in the solutions. Definitions of success are changing as well. Rather than simply tallying cases won or jail sentences imposed, community prosecutors are measuring the effect of their work on neighborhood quality of life, community attitudes and crime. Working with local prosecutors and national experts such as the Association for Prosecuting Attorneys the Center for Court Innovation provides technical assistance and training to the field.
To get help planning, implementing, or evaluating a community prosecution initiative, click here.