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Prosecutors Look to Research to Help Address Difficult Challenges

NCJ Number
Date Published
National Institute of Justice
This article is based on the NIJ grantee report “Prosecutor Priorities, Challenges, and Solutions” by Daniel S. Lawrence, Camille Gourdet, Duren Banks, Michael G. Planty, Dulani Woods, and Brian A. Jackson and funded by NIJ award 2013-MU-CX-K003 to the RAND Corporation. The prosecutor workshop informing the grantee report and this article was part of NIJ’s Priority Criminal Justice Needs Initiative.
The National Institute of Justice convened a working group of prosecution experts to identify critical challenges facing the profession and research priorities that could offer solutions. This panel, which was composed of 10 state-level prosecutors and seven representatives of related justice entities, met in 2018 at a workshop organized on behalf of NIJ by the RAND Corporation and RTI International. This article summarizes the RAND report, Prosecutor Priorities, Challenges, and Solutions, that detailed recommendations made by these advisers. In all, the report presented 28 prosecutorial needs, organized in priority order in Tiers 1-4. Key needs were improving the exchange of data and other information among agencies, their partners, and the community; identifying better ways to improve staff recruitment, training, and retention; conducting research into the most promising practices for collecting and disclosing data on officer misconduct and disciplinary history and related issues; identifying promising practices to prevent and respond to witness intimidation and tampering; and conducting more research about engagement of the community by prosecutors and whether different combinations of problem-solving and litigation strategies can influence crime reduction.
Date Created: February 11, 2020