2011 News Archives
Department of Justice Officials Address National Symposium on Pretrial Justice
The National Symposium on Pretrial Justice was held in Washington, D.C. on May 31st and June 1st. Attendees heard opening remarks from Attorney General Eric Holder and Assistant Attorney General Laurie Robinson. The Association of Prosecuting Attorneys was in attendance and recognized by Ms. Robinson. Assistant Attorney General Laurie Robinson also addressed the Symposium on the future of the pretrial justice system during a panel discussion.
You can read the complete remarks of AG Holder here and AGA Robinson's opening remarks here. For AGA Robinson's panel address please click here.
Curry Putting Focus on Community Ties with Prosecutor's Office
Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said Monday he hopes to rebuild the reputation of the prosecutor's office by forging stronger ties between his office and the community. To help do that, he's increasing focus on the community prosecution unit, a group of prosecutors stationed at police district headquarters throughout the city to improve the office's relationship with police and citizens. Curry is also making changes he hopes will benefit the office internally, such as combining the homicide and major felony divisions and centralizing the office's case-screening process. "We're just excited to get started and hit the ground running," Curry said. His move to focus on community prosecutors garnered praise from one national expert, who said prosecutors in several major metropolitan areas, including Chicago, New York and Philadelphia, are turning to that program to build stronger relationships with the community and prevent crime. Steven Jansen, chief operating officer of the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys and a former prosecutor in Detroit, said that although extensive research hasn't been done on such programs, anecdotal evidence shows they are effective. "We've seen the community prosecutor mechanism as being one of the true ways to rebuild the bond with the community," Jansen said. Community prosecutors work outside the main office Downtown to serve as liaisons with police officers and community groups.
Trutanich Recieves Honor From National Prosecutors Association
Los Angeles - The Association of Prosecuting Attorneys has presented Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich with the Innovations in Criminal Justice Award. Trutanich received the recognition during a three-day summit hosted by the organization in Chicago, spokesman Frank Mateljan said. Steven Jansen, the association's vice president, said, "In just a short time, Mr. Trutanich has brought bold ideas and pioneering solutions to some of Los Angeles' most pressing issues." The first-term city attorney and Harbor Area resident was recognized for filing a first-of-its kind injunction against the MTA tagging crew and establishing a safety zone in Skid Row, prohibiting the criminal activity of gangs and drug dealers in downtown Los Angeles, Mateljan said. Trutanich also was credited with using civil enforcement actions, including a lawsuit against Deutsche Bank for allowing hundreds of foreclosed properties to fall into disrepair and for facilitating the illegal eviction of hundreds of low-income tenants. "There is no greater honor than to be recognized by your peers, especially by an outstanding group like the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys," Trutanich said in a statement.
Office of the City Attorney
Summit Details Other Cities' Innovations
With the extended downturn in the economy, every part of Nashville has seen a visible increase in the homeless population. Additionally, service providers for those homeless people suffering from mental illness, long-term, late-stage alcoholism and other addictions and chronic illnesses have had their resources and capacity stretched beyond their ability to serve those in need. Deputy Chief Damian Huggins and Public Defender Dawn Deaner both made valid points. Without a comprehensive and coordinated strategy to deal with the chronically ill homeless population, the duty to minimize their harm to the quality of life in our neighborhoods is left to the police and the criminal justice system. However, as Deaner noted, the system has proven only marginally effective in lowering crime and improving quality of life. Our approach is not very efficient or effective and lacks compassion in its approach to the chronically ill and homeless. Nashville can do better. Recently, I attended an Innovations in Criminal Justice Summit sponsored by the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys. Two of the innovations presented dealt directly with the homelessness issue in a manner that has proven more effective in reducing crime and dealing more effectively and more compassionately with its underlying causes. In these tough economic times, both programs have also been shown to reduce costs to the criminal justice and health-care systems. These projects have several common themes: broad-based collaborations of law enforcement, health providers and community and business representatives; they are focused on those people who are clearly identified as most in need; and they are data-driven, evidence-based and continually evaluate their effectiveness and outcomes. The other key, and maybe the most important, is that they all had a champion - a mayor, a district attorney, a prominent businessman, or other highly visible and credible leader with the power and influence to bring all of the stakeholders to the table.
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