Smart Prosecution Initiative
The Smart Prosecution Sites work closely with BJA and the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (APA), the training and technical assistance partner to support prosecutor’s offices. APA, working directly with BJA, provides services to each site which include the following: host meetings; facilitate peer-to-peer exchanges of information; provide relevant subject matter expertise; deliver training programs and produce reports. These efforts guide agencies and strengthen their Smart Prosecution Initiative as they implement innovative, evidence-based prosecution strategies to ensure public safety.
The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) developed and currently administers The Smart Prosecution Initiative as part of BJA’s “Smart Suite” of crime fighting programs which include Smart Policing and Smart Supervision. The Smart Prosecution model builds off lessons learned from BJA’s “Smart Suite” of crime-fighting programs. Smart Prosecution is designed to promote effective, data-driven, research-based strategies for prosecution and prosecutor-led justice system reforms. The Smart Prosecution Initiative pairs an operational, results-focused researcher with a prosecutor’s office for the development of data-driven solutions to create effective, efficient, and fair prosecution strategies to improve public safety.
This initiative targets one of the following areas: evidence-based or best practices to solve contemporary crime problems and criminogenic circumstances; developing innovative, data-driven approaches to contemporary crime problems and criminogenic circumstances; or instilling innovative, evidence-based, best practices in prosecutor’s offices. This approach provides valuable resources for enabling a prosecutor’s office to access data from various criminal justice and non-criminal justice information systems to improve the security and quality of life for communities. One of the intended outcomes for The Smart Prosecution Initiative is the development of a rich body of knowledge for use by prosecutors nationally as they seek to work with communities to solve chronic problems and fight violent crime.
Smart Prosecution News
Court holds expert testimony on abusive head trauma sufficiently reliable
The Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas in a case of first degree felony injury to a child, ruled that the trial court did not abuse its discretion by admitting the evidence from expert witnesses concerning abusive head trauma. The Court reasoned...
Production and possession of child pornography conviction upheld
In a case involving a 45-year-old defendant and a sixteen-year-old victim, the United States Court of Appeals for the ninth Circuit found “sufficient evidence was presented by the government to sustain” defendant’s convictions for the prod...
Denial of defense opportunity to authenticate evidence of electronic communications held impermissible
The Court of Appeals of Mississippi reversed and remanded defendant’s convictions for two counts of gratification of lust and one count of statutory rape due to finding that the trial court had erred when it “denied the defendant the opportun...
Court rules vouching testimony objectionable
The Court of Appeals of Iowa reversed and remanded defendant’s conviction for sexual abuse in the second degree involving a child due to trial counsel’s failure to “perform an essential duty when he failed to object to testimony indirectly...
Child sexual abuse accommodation syndrome testimony allowed
The Supreme Court of new Jersey ruled that the defendant’s conviction for sex abuse was improperly reversed in that the expert witness’s “presentation to the jury was not extensive, and her discussion of the range of behavior that child vic...