Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $360,000)
The purpose of the Innovative Prosecution Solutions Program is to provide state, local, and tribal prosecutors with information, resources, and training and technical assistance (TTA) to develop effective strategies and programs to address violent crime and prosecute individuals responsible for homicides caused by illegal opioids. Prosecutors are leaders within the criminal justice system who possess an enormous responsibility within the criminal justice system. Accordingly, they are well positioned to bring the police, the community, and local agencies together to combat violent crime in their jurisdictions.
The Innovative Prosecution Solutions Program encourages prosecutors to use data in the development of their violent crime strategies and programs. As such, it builds upon analysis-driven, promising practices and evidence-based prosecution by encouraging state, local, and tribal prosecutorial agencies to develop effective, economical, and innovative responses to crime within their jurisdictions. Applicants will identify a problem to be addressed and may enlist a research partner to help evaluate the effectiveness of their Innovative Prosecution Solutions.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice, in partnership with the Milwaukee County District Attorneys Office will use grant funds to pay for a community prosecutor (CP) in the Milwaukee Police Departments Overdose (OD) Taskforce. The OD Taskforce includes federal, state and local law enforcement. This prosecution strategy will add a prosecutor to the OD Taskforce enhancing the prosecutors role in the fatal overdose investigations to prosecute individuals responsible for opioid related deaths. The CP will assist in the development of a criminal justice focused overdose fatality review process to identify agency, system, and policy prevention, and intervention and suppression opportunities.
Social network analysis will be completed on overdose victims to identify dealers for prosecution, but will also focus on co-users for prevention/intervention efforts. To assist the CP with prevention, intervention, and suppression, a Department of Corrections Community Corrections agent will also be added to the OD Taskforce. To inform the CP, linked data from EMS, prosecutors, courts, police, medical examiner, and ODMap, will be analyzed to inform and track overdoses - both fatal and nonfatal. This initiative partners with a researcher to develop the criminal justice overdose fatality review, continually collecting data to monitor and evaluate the success of the innovation prosecution solution.