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PCE Policy Library

The PCE Policy Library is a collection of news articles, reports, research papers, law review articles, and other documents on topic areas of interest to prosecutors. These topics address criminal justice issues— such as reform initiatives, drugs, emerging technology and policing practices—but also include information on prosecutor ethics, accomplishments, and community programs. For those of you who receive the PCE Articles of Interest series, the Library serves as a repository of those articles.

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Prosecutors across the nation face challenging questions regarding their role in reducing the fatal consequences of the opioid epidemic. In order to help address these questions, the National District Attorney’s Association (NDAA) created an Opioids Working Group to research and propose effective policy for prosecuting and diverting overdose related cases. The practices identified in the working group in the areas of enforcement, prevention, and treatment are provided in the following white paper: Read

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Need Help with Improving Investigations? – Apply for No-cost Training and Technical Assistance

Funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (part of the Department of Justice), the National Resource & Technical Assistance Center for Improving Law Enforcement Investigations (NRTAC) delivers training and technical assistance (TTA) to law enforcement and prosecutors on a wide range of topics that are directly related to conducting high-quality investigations. This assistance is available free of cost to eligible state and local departments and prosecutors seeking to improve investigations ranging from homicide to computer crime investigations. To learn more click here for NRTAC flyer.

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Rocket Fuel for Prosecutors!

Prosecutors have a difficult job — made even harder by rapidly evolving technology and law.  It can be overwhelming to stay abreast of developments with a limited budget and staff.  But don’t panic – there is a great tool that will help you with nearly any prosecutorial dilemma that comes your way: Prosecutors’ Encyclopedia or “PE” for short.  And it’s all free!

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Electronic Discovery

Prosecutors are obligated to provide timely and complete discovery, particularly with regard to exculpatory and impeachment material. The discovery process can be complex and time consuming. Failure to properly record the discovery documents provided to the defense can jeopardize cases and put prosecutors at risk of being charged with ethical violations. Thus, prosecutors are turning to technology to streamline the discovery process and to create a reliable record of what was turned over to the defense and when.

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Are You Prepared?

Disaster has hit prosecutors’ offices in a variety of ways: flooding (East Baton Rouge, Houston), hurricanes (New Orleans, Miami), fire (Missouri; New Jersey) and terrorism (New York). Even less destructive forces, like a snow storm, can impede a prosecutor’s office ability to function. Planning in advance of an emergency is critical for the safety of employees and for assuring that essential work can continue. Here are three areas for consideration:

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Tennessee Justice and Professionalism Committee

In September 2013, the Tennessee District Attorney Generals unanimously voted to establish the Tennessee Justice and Professionalism Committee (TJPC) as a standing committee of the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference (TNDAGC) to pursue best practices for prosecutors.  TJPC’s goal is to take the lead in improving Tennessee’s criminal justice system by keeping abreast of emerging issues and partnering with state and national criminal justice partners.

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Prosecutor Wellness

Prosecutor wellness is an issue that is justly receiving increased attention and resources. Here is an award-winning wellness program and some helpful materials from the American Bar Association.


In 2016, County Attorney Kirsten Pabst joined clinical social worker Andrew Laue, LCSW to create the first of its kind secondary trauma program for prosecutors, designed to educate staff on the impact of trauma and provide tools to manage the effects of trauma, enhance resilience and increase employee longevity.  Hailed as an innovative success, the National Association of Counties (NACo) recognized Pabst and Laue with a national Achievement Award and a 100 Brilliant Ideas in Government Award.

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Substance Use Disorders and the Role of the Prosecutor

Our nation is in the midst of the worst addiction crisis in its history.  The Center for Disease Control’s most recent report revealed that the rate of drug overdose deaths has increased 137% since 2000, including 200% increase involving opioids.  Studies estimate the substance abuse recovery community in the U.S. alone is at 23.5 million people.

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Michigan Prosecutors’ Justice Initiative Ethics and Best Practices Committee

The Michigan Prosecutors’ Justice Initiative (MPJI), Ethics and Best Practices Committee was established in 2014 to ensure justice is delivered with the highest degree of integrity through the development of professional standards designed to improve public safety, protect the rights of the accused, secure justice for crime victims, and hold offenders accountable. The committee meets on a regular basis to discuss the challenging issues of the day and to provide guidance on a variety of subjects.

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