Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $425,000)
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 Kings County District Attorney and the Center for Court Innovation will collaborate on the creation of a comprehensive approach to adolescent and young adult prosecution and diversion in Brooklyn, with an emphasis on misdemeanor and felony defendants at the greatest risk of re-offending, conviction, and/or incarceration. The goals would be to reduce re-offending and increase public safety; promote the use of meaningful social service; provide rigorous compliance monitoring; and reduce criminal convictions and the use of jail. The project would: 1) develop specialized training for prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, and service providers on the science of young adult and adolescent behavior and brain development, as well as, on evidence-based practices for reducing recidivism; 2) create a dedicated prosecution unit to handle defendants up to 24 years-old charged with misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies who are at greatest risk of re-offending and/or are facing more serious criminal consequences; 3) create a Young Adult Court to handle all appropriate misdemeanor and felony defendants up to age 24; 4) incorporate structured and sound decision-making through a validated risk-needs assessment; 5) evaluate the project; and 6) disseminate tools to inform the national field about how a specialized and developmentally-appropriate approach to young adult offenders works. CA/NCF