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What's Changing in Prosecution? Report of a Workshop

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2001
71 pages
This report presents the discussions and findings of a workshop that explored how social science has advanced understanding of changes in modern prosecution practice and how it might do so in the future.
The workshop described recent innovations in prosecution practice, as well as the measurement of these innovations. Another workshop goal was an examination of the origin and evaluation of the trend toward community prosecution and how it differs from traditional prosecution. A third goal of the workshop was to examine whether and in what ways prosecutorial discretion has increased over the last two decades, along with the impact this increase has had on criminal justice. The fourth goal of the workshop was to identify and assess the effectiveness of ethical, administrative, and legal controls on prosecutorial discretion. One chapter of this report explores the role, powers, and responsibilities of the prosecutor and whether they have changed over the past 30 years. Another chapter examines changes in practice due to technology, changing priorities, new applications of law, and changes in other parts of the justice system that have impacted prosecution. A chapter notes the absence of management improvements and new approaches in prosecutors' offices that have been installed in other sectors of criminal justice practice; it suggests how measures of accountability could be established for prosecution. The fifth chapter discusses new taxonomies for prosecution that can provide better support for the prosecutor's substantive legal and management responsibilities. The report concludes with a discussion of the need for and the parameters of further research on prosecution. 44 references and an appended workshop agenda and list of workshop participants

Date Published: January 1, 2001