APA also acts as a global forum for the exchange of ideas, allowing prosecutors to collaborate with all criminal justice partners, conducting timely and effective technical assistance and providing access to technology for the enhancement of the prosecutorial function.
In addition, APA serves as an advocate for prosecutors on emerging issues related to the administration of justice and development of partnerships. APA keeps prosecutors informed about and involved with changes in both law and practice through regular training sessions, comprehensive publications, legislative analysis and amicus activity.
Animal Abuse Prosecution Project
APA recognizes animal cruelty and fighting not only as precursor crimes to family and interpersonal violent crime, but also violent crime that should be effectively prosecuted. To achieve this end, APA developed a statement of principles regarding the prosecution of animal cruelty crimes and continues to provide a national technical assistance network as well as produce a quarterly newsletter, the Lex Canis. APA has also partnered with various animal welfare and other law enforcement organizations to hold an annual Animal Abuse and Fighting Summit to continue to develop ideas to fight animal cruelty and fighting.
Child Abuse Prosecution Project
The Association of Prosecuting Attorneys is pleased to offer a training and technical resource for child abuse prosecutors and their multi-disciplinary teams. The Child Abuse Prosecution Project, a VOCA-funded project through OJJDP, is staffed with a team of child abuse professionals and is readily available to provide consultation, technical assistance and training.
The nation’s prosecutors maintain a special role within the community to do everything within their constitutional authority to decrease the number of gun-related crimes. APA and its member prosecutors, as community leaders, in partnership with criminal justice partners and the public, are committed to curbing gun violence and illegal gun related crime.
High Performance Prosecution Project
The High Performance Prosecution Program (HPP) is a Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) national training and technical assistance program that provides support to prosecutors nationwide on implementing four key components of the HPP model:
It does so by hosting national trainings such as the National Prosecution Summit and the Innovations in Criminal Justice Summit; offering intensive onsite training and technical assistance upon request; producing webinars, publications, and electronic newsletters; maintaining a HPP Mentor Network that encourages peer-to-peer learning; and supporting a prosecution listserv.
APA is committed to enhancing juvenile programs by providing civic education for all participants that builds respect for their rule of law and the legal process, including mentorship and community service opportunities, permit program referrals from prosecutors, police, probation departments and the courts, while not limiting program eligibility to first-time offenders.
APA also encourages judges, lawyers, law students, civic organizations and businesses to recruit volunteers and to provide training, other assistance and support to create, sustain and promote youth programs, and supports national, state, and local research and evaluation on all aspects of juvenile justice programs.
Exploring Innovations with APA
APA is one of the strategic allies supporting the Safety + Justice Challenge through its Exploring Innovations with APA project. APA will provide technical assistance and resources to the 9 core sites to assist them with implementing and sustaining their evidence-based programs. The core sites, partner sites, and strategic allies will participate in two Leadership Institutes hosted by APA where the sites and allies will learn from each other and successful peers in the field about how to overcome the challenges of ensuring the safety of the community is met using means that offer justice to the system participants and the community. APA is producing a white paper and several newsletters, which will highlight some of those innovative diversion and alternative sentencing methods, as well as some of the structural and cultural realities of implementing these programs.
APA recognizes the value of accurate and reliable pretrial information provided to prosecutors and magistrates for the enhancement of public safety, safeguarding the judicial process, and aiding prosecutors in their ability to determine appropriate diversions and special court admissions. Pretrial services employing validated risk assessments provide useful data and offer practical information essential to making informed decisions during court proceedings and determining conditions of supervision and sentencing, when appropriate.
The Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (APA), in partnership with the Center for Court Innovation (CCI) and NORC at the University of Chicago (NORC), in collaboration with and administration by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), developed the Prosecutor-Led Diversion Initiative to sustain and create pre-trial prosecutor-led diversion programs with a substance abuse, mental health, and/or human trafficking component. This project will meet the present national need for training and technical assistance in an effort to improve the prosecutorial function by making more informed decisions and can be a smart strategy for improving public safety, allocating prosecution resources, reducing recidivism, and providing offenders with a second chance for success.
Smart Prosecution Initiative
The Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (APA) works closely with the Smart Prosecution Sites and BJA as the training and technical assistance partner to support prosecutor’s offices. APA, working directly with BJA, provides services to each site which include the following: host meetings; facilitate peer-to-peer exchanges of information; provide relevant subject matter expertise; deliver training programs and produce reports. These efforts guide agencies and strengthen their Smart Prosecution Initiative as they implement innovative, evidence-based prosecution strategies to ensure public safety.
Victims’ Rights & Resources
APA recognizes that one of the most important measures of the effectiveness of a criminal justice system may be found in how it responds to crimes against its most vulnerable victims and whether it has the courage to hold those who prey upon special victims accountable. There are many government and non-profit organizational resources available to citizens who have or who have family and friends who have been victimized. One such resource is the U.S. Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime.
Violence Against Women
APA has partnered with AEquitas’ and the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women created the Prosecutors’ Resource on Violence Against Women to encourage prosecutors throughout the country to build strong partnerships with their law enforcement, medical, and victim advocacy organizations to achieve justice for victims and the communities they serve. The mission is to improve the quality of justice in sexual violence, intimate partner violence, stalking, and human trafficking cases by developing, evaluating, and refining prosecution practices that increase victim safety and offender accountability and provide prosecutors with the support, training, mentorship, and resources necessary to objectively evaluate and constantly reexamine and refine their approach to justice in cases involving violence against women.