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Holding Prosecutors Accountable: What is Successful Prosecutorial Performance and Why Should it be Measured?

NCJ Number
The Prosecutor Volume: 41 Issue: 3 Dated: May/June 2007 Pages: 22,26,32
Date Published
May 2007
8 pages

This article presents key findings from the Performance Measures for Prosecutors Project showing a lack of measurement for prosecutor performance in the criminal justice system and with encouragement in the exploration of the utility of performance measurement.


As Federal, State, and local governments move toward performance-based planning and budgeting, prosecutors’ offices that have already begun to measure and track their successes are one step ahead. Prosecutors can use performance measurement to justify budget expenditures, show their accountability to the public, prioritize activities within the office, track progress in achieving goals, and modify practices as needed to strengthen their impact. Measuring prosecutorial performance should be viewed not as a burden, but as a process that is an essential part of “doing justice” in the 21st century. Over the past decade, the accountability of government agencies to the public has become increasingly important. Over the past 5 years, the American Prosecutors Research Institute (APRI) has conducted the Performance Measures for Prosecutors Project. The goal of the project was to address the lack of an empirical, scientific, and tested method for measuring prosecutor performance in the criminal justice system. This article shares some highlights of the project in hopes that it will encourage local prosecutors to further explore the utility of performance measurement. Exhibits, references

Date Published: May 1, 2007