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Project Safe Neighborhoods: Strategic Interventions - Gun Prosecution Case Screening (Case Study 1)

NCJ Number
Scott H. Decker; Jack McDevitt; Edmund F. McGarrell; Tim Bynum; John Klofas; Natalie Kroovand Hipple
Date Published
May 2006
28 pages
This report presents a case study on a specific strategic intervention, gun prosecution case screening, developed by Project Safe Neighborhood to reduce gun crime.
Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is an initiative developed by the U.S. Department of Justice to combat gun crime. PSN consists of a network of local partnerships coordinated through the Nation's 94 U.S. Attorneys' Offices and supported by a strategy that provides them with the resources they need to be successful in reducing gun crime. The PSN initiative integrates five essential elements from successful gun crime reduction programs: partnerships, strategic planning, training, outreach, and accountability. This report presents an overview of the PSN initiative and focuses specific discussion on one of the strategic interventions that is part of the PSN initiative: gun prosecution case screening. Gun prosecution case screening is used by prosecutors and law enforcement personnel to ensure that gun crimes are prosecuted in the most appropriate venue, such as Federal versus local court. In this process, cases are screened to determine their eligibility for prosecution in Federal court and whether Federal or local prosecution will produce a more severe sanction. This report presents information on the strategy of gun prosecution case screening, including sources of the strategy, goals of the strategy, and its impact on crime. The report also discusses in detail the roles of each stakeholder in the gun case review process, criteria for choosing Federal cases, impacts of gun prosecution screening, the program's success, the program's challenges, and keys to successful implementation of the strategy. Figures, references, and endnotes