Statewide Best Practices Committees for Prosecutors: A Nationwide Movement

Author(s): Kristine Hamann, Rebecca Rader Brown

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.

Supplemental Materials

May 17, 2016 — Volume 11

“Best Practices for Prosecutors — A Nationwide Movement,” published in the ABA Criminal Justice Journal, highlights of some of the excellent best practices work from committees across the country. These committees support prosecutors in their mission to do justice, to build trust in the communities that they serve and to address emerging issues. Read

Here are links to policies, recommendations and white papers mentioned in the article:

New York’s Best Practices Committee

  • Ethics Handbook Read
  • Case Review Questions Read
  • Eyewitness Identification Protocols Read
  • Video Recording of Interrogations Protocols Read
  • Discovery Training for Police Read

Missouri’s Best Practices Committee

  • DWI policy, ID policy and Custodial Interrogations Policy Read
  • Victim’s Rights Policy and Forensic Policy Read

Tennessee’s Justice and Professionalism Committee

  • Part I – Constitutional Discovery – Responsibilities of the Prosecutor
  • Part II: Discovery Responsibilities of the Prosecutor under Rule 16.

(For more information on these programs, contact District Attorney General Michael Dunavant, the chair of the Tennessee BP Committee, at [email protected]

Colorado Best Practices Committee for Prosecutors

  • Model Policy and Forms for Eyewitness Identification Read
  • Body-Worn Cameras: A Report for Law Enforcement Read
  • Recording of Custodial Interrogations: A Report for Law Enforcement Read

Virginia’s Committee on Justice and Professionalism

  • Article about the University of Richmond School of Law Prosecution Project Clinic Read

California’s Council for Criminal Justice Integrity

  • Model Body Worn Camera Police for Police: An Aid for Prosecutors Read
  • National Body Cam Technology & Policy Summit and Expo Flier Read