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Main Page breadcrumb triangle  Adjudication breadcrumb triangle  Community Prosecution breadcrumb triangle  What Is Community Prosecution?

What Is Community Prosecution?

Community prosecution is a strategy used by prosecutors to address crime in a neighborhood through decentralized, proactive problem-solving within a community. Hence, community prosecutors often work together with law enforcement, community groups, and others to address crime problems, public safety, and other quality-of-life issues. Community prosecutors interact with the community and address issues traditional prosecutors have not typically handled, such as problem-solving for crime prevention, public safety and health matters. Key elements of community prosecution include vertical prosecution, community advisory councils, problem mediation, and alternatives to incarceration programs.

Since the 1990's, increasing numbers of district attorneys' offices are implementing community prosecution. Nevertheless, no standard community prosecution strategy exists. Rather, community prosecution efforts are tailored to fit the unique needs of the communities they serve. Whereas traditional prosecution offices have focused mainly on case processing and convictions, community prosecution offices have taken a more proactive stance against crime by becoming more problem-oriented- dedicating efforts to crime prevention, community engagement, and development of collaborative relationships with other criminal justice agencies, private entities, and neighborhood residents.

BJA Resources Related to Community Prosecution Programs

Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (APA)
Center for Court Innovation, Community Prosecution
National District Attorneys Association (NDAA), National Center for Community Prosecution

Other Resources for Community Prosecution

John F. Kennedy School of Government Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management - Community Prosecution

State and Local Community Prosecution Resources

California, Sacramento County Community Prosecution
Dallas, Texas
Fulton County (Atlanta), Georgia
Hawaii, Honolulu Department of the Prosecuting Attorney Community Prosecution
Kings County (Brooklyn), New York
Marion County (Indianapolis), Indiana
Multnomah County, Oregon
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Montgomery County, Maryland
San Diego, California
Seattle, Washington
Travis County (Austin), Texas
United State District Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia
Wayne County (Detroit), Michigan

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