Did You Know?

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.

MISSOULA COUNTY ATTORNEY SECONDARY TRAUMA PROGRAM

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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NDAA Women Prosecutors Section

Join the National District Attorneys Association’s Women Prosecutors Section

The Women Prosecutors Section is open to all members of the NDAA. The Chair of the Committee is District Attorney Jackie Lacey of Los Angeles County, California.

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Police Worn Cameras: What Prosecutors Need to Know


As police departments across the United States embrace the use of police body-worn cameras, it is imperative that prosecutors be involved in the 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, and that prosecutors have the resources to view, store and redact the recordings.

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Virginia Association of Commonwealth’s Attorneys Committee on Justice and Professionalism Overview


The Committee: The Virginia Association of Commonwealth’s Attorneys (VACA) Committee on Justice and Professionalism, established in September of 2014, serves as a forum for Virginia prosecutors to share information, collaborate on case reviews, remain current on legal and investigative trends, and avoid erroneous convictions. Committee members include elected Commonwealth’s Attorneys and deputies from a diverse range of counties and cities throughout Virginia. The committee had initially been funded in part by a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, and now is supported by VACA.

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Getting the Word Out

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.

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North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys (NCCDA)


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.

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Kansas County & District Attorneys Association’s Best Practices Committee Overview


The Committee: The KCDAA’s Best Practices Committee has 20 members, both elected district attorneys and assistant prosecutors representing small, medium and large jurisdictions from different parts of the state. The committee meets in person at least four times per year and corresponds over email or by conference calls in the intervening months. For an overview of the committee, click here.

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Eyewitness Identification Toolkit


This eyewitness identification toolkit provides prosecutors with an overview of the research behind witness memory and offers guidance for developing identification procedures. Prosecutors should take the lead in making sure that the identification procedures used in their state yield reliable, admissible evidence. The first step is to learn what procedures their police departments are using and to determine if they are fair and reliable.

Prosecutors’ Center for Excellence is available to prosecutors to offer further assistance on the issues briefly described below.

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