Publications

Police Body-Worn Cameras: What Prosecutors Need to Know

Author(s): Kristine Hamann, PCE

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Police Body-Worn Cameras: What Prosecutors Need to Know

As police departments across the United States embrace the use of police body-worn cameras (“BWCs”), it is imperative that prosecutors be involved in the uptake process as early as possible. The cameras will inevitably capture a great deal of evidentiary material that will be used in every type of criminal prosecution. Thus, systems and policies must be developed to ensure that this evidence is properly captured and delivered to the prosecutor in a timely and usable way. This can be a daunting task, complicated by the fact that in most jurisdictions, there are many police departments that send their cases to one prosecutor. Without coordination, the departments may purchase different technologies, implement different policies, and store the data in different locations. In some instances, the prosecutor may even be unaware that a police department has purchased BWCs. To start, the prosecutor should reach out to their police department(s) to determine whether they are planning to purchase BWCs. If the police department already has a program underway, it will be advantageous for the prosecutor to become involved in developing the program and in coordinating with other police departments in their jurisdiction.

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Combatting Crime on the Dark Web: How Law Enforcement and Prosecutors are Using Cutting-Edge Technology to Fight Cyber Crime

Author(s): Bradley Altvater, PCE

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Combatting Crime on the Dark Web: How Law Enforcement and Prosecutors are Using Cutting-Edge Technology to Fight Cyber Crime

Criminals are increasingly using shadowy corners of the internet to mask their identities and conduct illicit activities. Marketplaces on the “dark web” facilitate a range of criminal activities, including human trafficking and the distribution of child pornography. However, law enforcement and prosecutors are not helpless in the fight against these new criminal tactics. This paper will focus on two ways that law enforcement and prosecutors have utilized technology to find and prosecute criminals on the dark web. Part 1 of this article explains this new terrain of criminal activity by exploring the differences between the surface web, deep web, and dark web.

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Best Practices for Prosecutors: A Nationwide Movement

Author(s): Kristine Hamann, Rebecca Rader Brown

Best Practices for Prosecutors: A Nationwide Movement

A prosecutor’s core mission is and has always been to promote justice and to protect the community by ensuring public safety. Over the past 30 years, the way prosecutors approach this mission has evolved. In place of the old, reactive criminal justice model, prosecutors and police are using new methods and evidence to take a proactive, broader approach to preventing, investigating, and prosecuting crime. One way that prosecutors are working to encourage this innovative approach is through the development of statewide best practices committees for prosecutors. These committees, which have formed in 20 states, are statewide think tanks that assist prosecutors to identify best practices and to proactively address emerging issues that can improve their work and benefit our communities.

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Witness Intimidation: What You Can Do To Protect Your Witness

Author(s): PCE

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Witness Intimidation: What You Can Do To Protect Your Witness

Witness intimidation and witness tampering can occur in any case, from simple misdemeanors to homicides. It has a variety of consequences from the silencing of an entire community, to the murder of a witness, to the recantation of truthful testimony. Though witness intimidation is an insidious problem, there are strategies throughout the investigation and prosecution of a case that can help to keep a witness safe and reduce the impact of intimidation.

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The Prosecutor’s Evolving Role

Author(s): Hamann Greenberg-Chao

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The Prosecutor’s Evolving Role

Prosecutors have a core mission to protect the community and ensure justice when enforcing the law. Traditionally, a prosecutor’s role was a limited and relatively passive one – to evaluate and prosecute arrests made by the police But over the last forty years, there has been a dramatic transformation and expansion of prosecutors’ mission, to not only vigorously prosecute criminal cases, but also to engage in crime prevention, problem solving and community partnerships.

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Police Worn Cameras

Author(s): PCE CDAA

Model Body Worn Camera Policy for Police: An Aid for Prosecutors

Digital evidence includes evidence retrieved from cell phones, computers, surveillance cameras, and social media sites. PCE can provide information on how digital evidence is captured, preserved and authenticated for use in court, as well as information to assist prosecutors with addressing emerging issues, such as police worn cameras.

The model policy is created as a guide to prosecutors who are working with their police departments on the implementation of body worn cameras. The policy includes “Use Notes” that indicate the points where different decisions can be made and the considerations for making those decisions. Also accompanying the model policy is a checklist outlining the many issues that should be addressed in a body worn camera policy.

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