Smart Strategies to Promote Public Safety

One of the great tragedies of our current system as it stands is that many communities, particularly communities of color, are simultaneously ravaged by violent crime and plagued by destabilizing over-incarceration of nonviolent offenders.

The State’s Attorney’s Office must be the fair and unbiased arbiter of justice, focusing its most intensive resources on aggressively pursuing prosecution of violent crime, and diverting non-violent offenders with mental illness, drug addiction, or other needs to the appropriate treatments that will further promote public safety by addressing the underlying causes of their misconduct. In order to achieve this, the Office will:

• Cultivate partnerships between the State’s Attorney’s Office and other key justice system stakeholders to develop prosecution and prevention strategies, including identification and prosecution of high risk and violent individuals, and to coordinate alternative efforts like diversion and deferred prosecution programs for lower risk offenders and those who need treatment.

• Develop and disseminate a strategic plan to address gun violence and gun offenders, including support for violence prevention strategies, enforcement efforts to address supply-side gun market issues, and developing intensive evidence- and data-informed prosecution of gun cases.

• Evaluate and expand successful alternatives to traditional prosecution, including community courts, specialty courts, and diversion programs, and track effects of those efforts on recidivism and on jail and prison populations.

• Align internal operations and employee performance metrics to reflect priorities beyond conviction rates, including diversion and alternative prosecutions, and reward and promote employees who use risk screening tools and exercise sound judgment and discretion in pursuing alternatives to traditional prosecution for appropriate candidates.