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Intelligence-Driven Prosecution Model: A Case Study in the New York County District Attorney's Office

NCJ Number
Jennifer A. Tallon; Dana Kralstein; Erin J. Farley; Michael Rempel
Date Published
September 2016
92 pages
This is a case study of the Intelligence-Driven Prosecution Model (IDPM) designed and implemented by the New York County District Attorney's Office (DANY), which is a novel prosecutorial strategy based in the rigorous collection of background information on the people, places, and problems driving crime in specific neighborhoods.
Through enhanced information collection that includes close coordination with local law enforcement and robust community outreach, the objective of the IDPM is to facilitate improved prosecutorial decisionmaking. This case study of the IDPM documents how it operates and examines its implementation and effects in New York County (borough of Manhattan). The model is heavily dependent on the Crime Strategies Unit (CSU) to collect and analyze crime-related information in the county. CSU staff interact with the assistant district attorneys (ADAs) assigned to key cases the CSU believes are important, such as those that involve key players in criminal activities in the county. The case study found that a significant level of interaction was occurring between the CSU intelligence unit and ADAs who were prosecuting cases. The study found statistically significant effects of CSU input to prosecutors on their decisionmaking, such as whether bail is set, bail amounts, charge severity at disposition, and sentence type and length. A particularly notable effect was that arrest-alert defendants sentenced to jail or prison served an average of 100 days longer than defendants in either matched comparison sample. Although this study did not measure the IDPM's long-term effects on both individual defendants and communities, the potential of the model is promising, since it produces and distributes more comprehensive intelligence relevant to prosecutor decisionmaking. The study's methodology is described in this report. 17 tables, 3 figures, 22 references, and appended survey instrument, survey responses, propensity score matching, and outcomes for felony defendants only and misdemeanor defendants only