This Guide challenges prosecutors to consider their central role as the chief law enforcement officer in their jurisdictions in responding to violent crime through several critical elements related to the prosecutorial function.
The Guide notes that prosecutors are uniquely positioned to elicit the cooperation of criminal justice professionals and community leaders in creating and implementing a coordinated, effective, and sustainable plan for reducing the incidence of violent crime. In early 2020, partners in the Innovative Prosecution Solutions Initiative (IPS) convened a Roundtable of prosecutors who have been leaders in their communities in efforts to reduce violent crime. The Roundtable discussed the essential capabilities necessary for a prosecutor’s office to be effective in preventing and responding to violent crimes. This Guide is patterned after one developed for law enforcement leaders. The Guide advises its users that it is not a prescription or detailed plan of specific policies or practices guaranteed to achieve certain goals in countering violence in every jurisdiction. Rather, the Guide presents a systematic way for each prosecutor’s office to assess its strengths and weaknesses regarding critical capabilities needed to develop and improve policies and practices that will be most effective in addressing violent crime in its jurisdiction. Examples are provided of policies and practices worth examining in relation to a jurisdiction’s assessment of its threats and causes of violent crime. The seven areas of analysis of and response to violent crime addressed in the Guide and derived from the Roundtable are 1) community engagement; 2) collaboration with criminal justice partners; 3) technology; 4) analytics and intelligence; 5) recruitment, training, and case assignment; 6) resources and sustainability; and 7) accountability.