Newsletters and Annual Reports
One way prosecutors can get the word out about what they do and how they serve their communities is through newsletters and annual reports. Here are a few examples from prosecutors around the country.
The Committee: Established in 2013, the NCCDA Best Practices Committee includes both elected district attorneys and senior assistant district attorneys, who represent a diverse collection of the state’s districts. The committee recommends procedures that enhance the truth-seeking function critical to all investigations and prosecutions; analyzes ethical issues and generates updates for prosecutors on cases and rules that affect the ethical obligations of prosecutors; and develops efficient and effective management procedures and guidelines for the processing of certain case types and issues.
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.