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Prosecution in the 21st Century: Goals, Objectives, and Performance Measures

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2004
32 pages
This report, which is the result of the work of a study group convened by the American Prosecutors Research Institute, provides an initial framework for measuring prosecutors' progress toward achieving widely accepted goals and desired outcomes and develops a foundation upon which prosecutors and others can build to better understand the workings of the prosecution profession.
After reviewing the history of the traditional role of prosecutors, the introductory section provides an overview of the changing role of the prosecutor, with attention to the advent of "community prosecution," in which the prosecutor engages in a proactive approach that involves working in partnership with the community to address the underlying problems that contribute to crime. This partnership includes having a general agreement between prosecutors and their communities about the goals of prosecution and measures of success. The introduction is followed by a section that measures the prosecutor's mission and goals and provides a measurement framework for prosecution. The stated goals of prosecution are to promote the fair, impartial, and expeditious pursuit of justice; to ensure safer communities; and to promote integrity in the prosecution profession and effective coordination in the criminal justice system. The measurement framework outlines critical objectives (outcomes) associated with primary prosecution goals and identifies performance measures that may be used to track progress. The framework encompasses both short-term and long-term goals. The concluding section of this report suggests performance measures for each objective related to each of the three aforementioned prosecutorial goals. The proposed performance measures are intended to be useful in providing benchmarks for measuring progress and results in prosecutors' work. Appended chart of prosecution goals, objectives, and performance measures

Date Published: February 1, 2004