APA acts as a global forum for the exchange of ideas, allowing prosecutors to collaborate with all criminal justice partners, conducting timely and effective technical assistance and providing access to technology for the enhancement of the prosecutorial function.
In addition, APA serves as an advocate for prosecutors on emerging issues related to the administration of justice and development of partnerships. APA keeps prosecutors informed about and involved with changes in both law and practice through regular training sessions, comprehensive publications, legislative analysis and amicus activity.
Animal Abuse Prosecution Project
APA recognizes animal cruelty and fighting not only as precursor crimes to family and interpersonal violent crime, but also violent crime that should be effectively prosecuted. To achieve this end, APA developed a statement of principles regarding the prosecution of animal cruelty crimes and continues to provide a national technical assistance network as well as produce a quarterly newsletter, the Lex Canis. APA has also partnered with various animal welfare and other law enforcement organizations to hold an annual Animal Abuse and Fighting Summit to continue to develop ideas to fight animal cruelty and fighting.
Capital Case Litigation Initiative
The Association of Prosecuting Attorneys provides comprehensive training and technical assistance (TTA) services, tools, and resources to state and local prosecutors and other criminal justice practitioners on behalf of the Capital Case Litigation Initiative (CCLI).
Case Backlogs Project
The Case Backlogs project is a Stand Together Trust (STT)-funded effort to provide prosecutors with insights into the current state of case backlog around the country while also elevating model practices and protocols for addressing them. Prosecutor offices will be solicited to apply for specialized training and technical assistance (TTA) via an request for proposals, and those who require light touch TA may contact APA at any time to request peer-to-peer exchanges or access to case backlog-related materials and information.
Child Abuse Prosecution Project
The Association of Prosecuting Attorneys is pleased to offer a training and technical resource for child abuse prosecutors and their multi-disciplinary teams. The Child Abuse Prosecution Project, a VOCA-funded project through OJJDP, is staffed with a team of child abuse professionals and is readily available to provide consultation, technical assistance and training.
Over the last decade, Conviction Integrity or Review Units have been created in prosecutors’ offices to review and, when appropriate, seek to overturn convictions where there is evidence of actual innocence, prosecutor or law enforcement misconduct, or other considerations that undermine the integrity of the conviction.
The criminal justice system is rife with unnecessary collateral consequences that do not have anything to do with the underlying charge. APA, with funding from the Koch Foundation and the Coalition for Public Safety, works to address the issue of those collateral consequences, particularly those which impact housing and employment opportunities (such as drivers license suspension fines and fees).
Elevating Trust and Legitimacy for Prosecutors
The Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, in partnership with Yale Law School’s Justice Collaboratory and LaGratta Consulting and supported by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, are excited to announce the Elevating Trust and Legitimacy for Prosecutors Project. APA and the Justice Collaboratory have also selected two additional sites to continue their work on the Elevating Trust and Legitimacy for Prosecutors Project, the Saint Paul City Attorney’s Office and the Columbus City Attorney’s Office. This project will assess how city prosecutors interact with the surrounding community, implementing evidence-based practices to increase public trust.
Exploring Innovations with APA
APA is one of the strategic allies supporting the Safety + Justice Challenge through its Exploring Innovations with APA project. APA will provide technical assistance and resources to the 9 core sites to assist them with implementing and sustaining their evidence-based programs. The core sites, partner sites, and strategic allies will participate in two Leadership Institutes hosted by APA where the sites and allies will learn from each other and successful peers in the field about how to overcome the challenges of ensuring the safety of the community is met using means that offer justice to the system participants and the community. APA is producing a white paper and several newsletters, which will highlight some of those innovative diversion and alternative sentencing methods, as well as some of the structural and cultural realities of implementing these programs.
The nation’s prosecutors maintain a special role within the community to do everything within their constitutional authority to decrease the number of gun-related crimes. APA and its member prosecutors, as community leaders, in partnership with criminal justice partners and the public, are committed to curbing gun violence and illegal gun related crime.
High Performance Prosecution Project
The High Performance Prosecution Program (HPP) is a Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) national training and technical assistance program that provides support to prosecutors nationwide on implementing four key components of the HPP model:
It does so by hosting national trainings such as the National Prosecution Summit and the Innovations in Criminal Justice Summit; offering intensive onsite training and technical assistance upon request; producing webinars, publications, and electronic newsletters; maintaining a HPP Mentor Network that encourages peer-to-peer learning; and supporting a prosecution listserv.
Human Trafficking Prosecution Project
The Human Trafficking (HT) Prosecution Project provides specific training, expertise, and guidance to increase the organizational capacity of multidisciplinary task forces to conduct a range of practices to better identify victims, connect them to appropriate services, and successfully investigate and prosecute human trafficking cases at the state, federal, and tribal levels.
APA is committed to enhancing juvenile programs by providing civic education for all participants that builds respect for their rule of law and the legal process, including mentorship and community service opportunities, permit program referrals from prosecutors, police, probation departments and the courts, while not limiting program eligibility to first-time offenders.
APA also encourages judges, lawyers, law students, civic organizations and businesses to recruit volunteers and to provide training, other assistance and support to create, sustain and promote youth programs, and supports national, state, and local research and evaluation on all aspects of juvenile justice programs.
APA recognizes the value of accurate and reliable pretrial information provided to prosecutors and magistrates for the enhancement of public safety, safeguarding the judicial process, and aiding prosecutors in their ability to determine appropriate diversions and special court admissions. Pretrial services employing validated risk assessments provide useful data and offer practical information essential to making informed decisions during court proceedings and determining conditions of supervision and sentencing, when appropriate.
The Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (APA), in partnership with the Center for Court Innovation (CCI) and NORC at the University of Chicago (NORC), in collaboration with and administration by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), developed the Prosecutor-Led Diversion Initiative to sustain and create pre-trial prosecutor-led diversion programs with a substance abuse, mental health, and/or human trafficking component. This project will meet the present national need for training and technical assistance in an effort to improve the prosecutorial function by making more informed decisions and can be a smart strategy for improving public safety, allocating prosecution resources, reducing recidivism, and providing offenders with a second chance for success.
Addressing Disparities to Reproductive Health
The Addressing Disparities to Reproductive Health Project is APA’s new initiative designed to support prosecutors nationally to reduce reproductive health-related investigations and prosecutions including pregnancy loss and abortion. The Project is funded by the Ford Foundation through the Collaborative for Gender and Reproductive Equity (CGRE).
Smart Prosecution Initiative
APA was the training and technical assistance (TTA) provider for the Smart Prosecution Project from October 2014 until March 2018, a program funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). The focus of APA’s program was to assist prosecutor -led grantees to successfully develop, implement and sustain their own BJA-funded crime-solving initiative. Prosecutor-led grantees engaged in a partnership with researchers to effectively plan and execute their data-driven initiative. APA provided extensive training and technical assistance to each of the fourteen Smart Prosecution grantee programs. With the assistance of grantees and their partners, APA developed a wide-range of materials to assist the field including webinars, facts sheets and monographs.
Victims’ Rights & Resources
APA recognizes that one of the most important measures of the effectiveness of a criminal justice system may be found in how it responds to crimes against its most vulnerable victims and whether it has the courage to hold those who prey upon special victims accountable. There are many government and non-profit organizational resources available to citizens who have or who have family and friends who have been victimized. One such resource is the U.S. Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime.