Combatting Witness Intimidation and Improving Prosecution of Violent Crime (2019)

St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office (St. Louis, MO)

Population: 318,070 | Number of Full-Time Prosecutors: 60 | Contact Information

The St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office (CAO) is launching a multidisciplinary effort to combat intimidation and keep witnesses safe, with the goal of improving violent crime prosecutions. The CAO is using a grant from Innovative Prosecution Solutions (IPS) to launch a mobile application for victims and witnesses that allows anonymous reporting of intimidation events and pairs them with local services.

It is hoped that increased witness protection services, which can be accessed without law enforcement intervention will help them feel safer and thus increase their willingness to participate in a prosecution. The CAO will use a collaborative team of prosecutors, investigators, victim advocates, and subject matter experts to help develop the application content and provide trainings on witness intimidation. The IPS funded team will also invite local community leaders, advocacy groups, elected officials, social service agencies, schools, hospitals, police, corrections officers, and other partners to discuss strategies for preventing and responding to witness intimidation.