APA provides guidance and assistance to prosecutors throughout the nation on the most up-to-date and innovative criminal justice practices available.
In order to further prosecutorial innovation, APA partnered with the Bureau of Justice Association (BJA) and Center for Court Innovation (CCI) to gather an inter-disciplinary group of criminal justice practitioners to highlight ten of the most innovative criminal justice practices.
The Innovations in Criminal Justice Summit held in 2011, 2013 and 2015, presents the most innovative programs from across the country as selected by a Blue Ribbon Committee convened by APA, BJA and CCI with representatives from American Probation and Parole Association, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, National Criminal Justice Association, the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, Urban Institute, and the University of Chicago Crime Lab. Programs were selected based on the clarity of the problem addressed and program design, try and level of support received by the program, evaluation results and opportunities for replication.
To learn more about the innovative prosecutorial programs presented at the Innovation In Criminal Justice Summits, visit the following page for complete summaries of these innovative programs that are changing the face of prosecutions.
Innovations in Criminal Justice
Agencies participating in the Ashland, Oregon “You Have Options” program recognize the need for a victim-centered and offender-focused response to sexual violence.
The Red Hook Peacemaking Program, run by the Center for Court Innovation’s Tribal Justice Exchange and located in the Red Hook Community Justice Center, brings together defendants and victims, as well as others affected by the defendant’s behavior.
Mesa County Colorado has implemented evidence-based pretrial reforms with technical assistance from the National Institute of Corrections.
The Shelby County Tennessee Jericho Project is a post-disposition, jail diversion strategy that links people diagnosed with co-occurring substance abuse disorders and serious mental illness to resources in the community.
The Kansas City No Violence Alliance (KC NoVA) is a collaboration formed in 2012 between several organizations committed to reducing violent crime in the urban core of Kansas City, Missouri.
The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office collaborated with the Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice, to create the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office Conviction Integrity Through Root Cause Analysis Program.
The Cook County Illinois State’s Attorney’s Office Deferred Prosecution Program is a voluntary 12 month pre-indictment court diversion program designed for adult offenders who have no previous felony convictions and are charged with specified non-violent felony offenses.
San Francisco District Attorney (SFDA) prosecutors review misdemeanor cases to identify those that are legally sufficient and eligible through the Neighborhood Court (NCT) program. NCT is a pre-charging diversion program for non-violent misdemeanors that emphasizes community participation and restorative justice.
This program operating in Seattle, Washington focuses on treatment for chronic street-level offending drunks through a “housing first” setting. Implementation Guide
This Bronx, NY initiative exemplifies holistic defense and provides wrap around services for criminal defendants. Implementation Guide
Drug Market Initiative (DMI) is a law enforcement strategy aimed at reducing open-air drug markets and crime associated with them. Implementation Guide
Hawaii’s Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE) program couples swift and certain sanctions with drug testing and treatment to reduce recidivism among probationers. Implementation Guide
Specialized courts deal with mentally ill offenders in the criminal justice system. Implementation Guide
The Milwaukee Homicide Review Commission uses evidence-based analysis to review the criminal justice system and look for places to improve public health and safety. Implementation Guide
This focused prosecution effort focuses on reducing crime and increasing public safety in the downtown business district by targeting problem and repeat offenders and providing services when appropriate. Implementation Guide
New York City Probation programs utilize individual probation plans based on evaluated rick-needs of probationers to provide assistance and services in an effort to reduce recidivism and promote reintegration into the community. Implementation Guide
This philosophy from Rockland County, NY focuses on community prosecution and policing and evidence-based practices to improve public safety through a number of programs and initiatives. Implementation Guide
The Upper Manhattan Reentry Task Force is a collaborative effort to reduce recidivism and reintegrate community members returning from incarceration as well as improve public safety. Implementation Guide
Created by Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes, COMAlert focuses on successfully reintegrating individuals returning from prisons into their Brooklyn communities by providing an effective combination of immediate wraparound transitional services targeting those with histories of substance abuse and currently under mandated community supervision. Implementation Guide
A robust response to a growing threat to victims and witnesses in criminal cases, the Denver District Attorney’s Witness Protection Program combats intimidation through tactical witness protection strategies, victim witness assistance services, and lifestyle transformation. Implementation Guide
Kentucky’s Pretrial Release Program utilizes a unique pretrial risk assessment to make more informed and appropriate recommendations to the court regarding pretrial release. Implementation Guide
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office’s Arrest Alert System utilizes intelligence gathering and information sharing to identify crime issues and target priority offenders for aggressive prosecution. Implementation Guide
The Superior Court of Maricopa County, Arizona created a dedicated court calendar to enforce delinquent restitution payment through civil contempt, successfully collecting $500,000 in delinquent payments from 2009 through 2011. Implementation Guide
Multnomah County, Oregon’s Re-Entry Enhancement Coordination (REC) program closes gaps in services for those transitioning from prison to community by serving individuals with severe addictions who have completed treatment during their incarceration and will benefit from assistance in securing housing, treatment, and employment after release. Implementation Guide
Philadelphia’s Community-Based Prosecution Model focuses on wisely investing judicial resources and improving public safety by strategically reorganizing case flow and office structure through the alignment of prosecutors with specific geographic zones. Implementation Guide
South Dakota’s 24/7 Sobriety Program effectively reduces recidivism by emphasizing offender sobriety through intensive testing and monitoring of alcohol and drug consumption, together with swift and certain punishment for infractions. Implementation Guide
Stearns County, Minnesota operates the nation’s first domestic violence court for repeat felony offenders, with a focus on targeted pretrial intensive supervision of domestic violence offenders. Implementation Guide
Washington, DC is the first city in the nation to restructure its criminal court system into a series of calendars following key “community court” principles of community engagement, community restitution, and linking offenders to social services. Implementation Guide