[BOSTON, MA] – On July 19 and 20, 2016, Prosecutors’ Center for Excellence (PCE) led prosecutors from 17 states in a national meeting of statewide Best Practices Committees. These committees are non-partisan bodies of prosecutors that include elected and senior prosecutors from urban, suburban, and rural districts throughout a state. The committees serve as think tanks that examine information on the latest developments in criminal justice and community safety. Their mission is to improve the criminal justice system and to address emerging issues.
The main topics of this meeting were ethics and “how to implement community programs on a shoestring?”
DA Daniel Conley, Suffolk County Massachusetts (Boston), kicked off the discussion on ethics by sharing how ethics is infused in all his office’s trainings and how he sets the tone for high ethical standards with his staff.
PCE Executive Director Kristine Hamann, chair of the NY Best Practices Committee, outlined how NY prosecutors have adopted internal ethics policies and new approaches to addressing police ethics.
On community programs, a presentation from Rockland County, New York, showed how DA Tom Zugibe created the Partnership for Safe Youth, a hub for services for at-risk youth and their families. Through his advocacy, the space was donated and the agencies all contributed staff at no cost.
Prosecutors have enthusiastically engaged in community outreach. The meeting focused on the challenge of funding and sustaining these important programs. Read
This national meeting provided a forum for prosecutors from Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia to work together on the difficult issues of the day and to provide advice on how to leverage the benefits of a Best Practices Committee. Also in attendance were representatives from the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA), and National Association of Prosecutor Coordinators (NAPC). The NDAA generously provided a space for the gathering, which took place immediately following its 2016 Summer Conference. This is the eighth national best practices summit.
“The Best Practices movement has seen remarkable progress in a span of just a few years. With 22 statewide committees, and more under consideration, prosecutors are actively engaging in improving the criminal justice system,” said Kristine Hamann, Executive Director of PCE. Hamann is a former Visiting Fellow at the Bureau of Justice Assistance/Department of Justice and former Executive Assistant District Attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.