The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office today concluded its fourth Symposium on Intelligence-Driven Prosecution, a two-day event which provides prosecutors and members of law enforcement from jurisdictions across the U.S. with the opportunity to learn more about the innovative public safety initiatives developed by the District Attorney’s Office and specialized units created by District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. The Symposium was organized and hosted in partnership with the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the Institute for Innovation in Prosecution, a think tank designed to support the development the next generation of ideas and thought leaders in prosecution.
“Today, New York is one of the safest big cities in the U.S., but as criminals find new ways to thwart our efforts, law enforcement must continually adapt, innovate, and collaborate,” said District Attorney Vance. “I thank the prosecutors and members of other agencies, organizations, and jurisdictions across the U.S. who participated in our Symposium, allowing us to focus on the future of law enforcement and criminal justice, and enabling us to further develop 21st-century prosecutorial strategies and alliances to fight crime.”
Jeremy Travis, President of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said: “John Jay College is honored to partner with District Attorney Vance to host this timely meeting of prosecutors and law enforcement leaders to learn from each other about new and effective responses to crime. As an academic institution, we value these open exchanges of ideas.”
Meg Reiss, Executive Director of the Institute for Innovation in Prosecution, said: “It was a privilege to co-host this event and bring together a wide-ranging group with a shared focus on promoting innovation in prosecution. We look forward to more collaborative opportunities to advance the principles of justice that drive the work in prosecutors’ offices around the country.”
David Kennedy, Director of the National Network for Safe Communities, said: “It’s enormously exciting to see the world of prosecution taking on these critical issues of effectiveness, legitimacy, consequences and unintended consequences, and the proper role and function of the prosecutor.”
Prosecutors and members of law enforcement from more than 80 agencies, organizations, and jurisdictions across the U.S. participated in the event, which featured presentations on public safety initiatives developed by specialized units of the District Attorney’s Office, including the Crime Strategies Unit and Community Partnerships Unit. The Symposium included in-depth discussion of the following topics.
Using gathered intelligence to guide prosecution strategy
In 2010, District Attorney Vance created the Crime Strategies Unit to develop targeted approaches to addressing crime in local communities. During the event, prosecutors and analysts discussed the process of gathering information, analyzing crime data, and using intelligence to guide prosecution strategies in order to reduce neighborhood violence. The presentation also included an overview of the technology and tools employed by the District Attorney’s Office in furtherance of this mission.
Fostering community partnerships
Collaboration between law enforcement agencies, community leaders, and social service agencies is essential to ensuring public safety and productive law enforcement-community relationships. Within the District Attorney’s Office, the Community Partnerships Unit is primarily responsible for working with local communities to promote trust and collaboration. At the Symposium, presentations on neighborhood initiatives and events included discussions on reducing violence in communities affected by gang violence, with an emphasis on post-takedown restoration, youth outreach, and proactive engagement.
Supporting diversion and reentry programs
Several of the District Attorney’s Office’s initiatives aimed at increasing fairness in the justice system and reducing recidivism were also discussed, including alternatives to incarceration for low-level offenders who pose no threat to public safety, and reentry and support programs designed to ensure successful community reentry for formerly incarcerated individuals.
Increasing law enforcement collaboration
As criminals leverage new technology to commit crimes across borders and jurisdictions, effective collaboration among law enforcement agencies has become more critical than ever. At the Symposium, the District Attorney’s Office renewed its commitment to help law enforcement agencies across the U.S. replicate the success of public safety initiatives in Manhattan.