Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $415,599)
The goal of Smart Prosecution Initiative is to develop a body of knowledge about data-driven strategies innovative, best practice, or evidenced-based as they are implemented by prosecutors. Smart Prosecution applicants will identify a problem to be addressed and enlist an independent research partner to help evaluate the effectiveness of their smart prosecution effort. Smart Prosecution applications require a research partner/organization as part of the application. Areas of focus for this solicitation include, but are not limited to, applying best or evidenced-based practices to contemporary crime problems and criminogenic circumstances; developing innovative data-driven and crime analysis approaches to reduce crime; improving internal office procedures that ensure public trust and confidence in the justice system; or inculcating innovative, best or evidence-based approaches in local offices.
The San Diego City Attorneys Office and the Office of the Public Defender will use the grant funds to create the San Diego Community Court (SDCC). Building on the knowledge base of existing community courts in the U.S., SDCC will handle low-level misdemeanor offenses by providing offenders with an opportunity to pay their debt back to the community through targeted work service and other conditions. However, what makes this program unique is that it is a citywide, post-filing diversion program for low-level misdemeanor offenses, which casts a very broad net, in comparison to many community court programs that are geographic- and/or offense-specific typically based on the pre-filing model. CA/NCF