Community Prosecution targets serious crime, as well as those issues that typically have the greatest impact on the quality of life of our residents. By focusing on street-level drug dealing, property theft, prostitution, truancy, graffiti and other offenses, prosecutors working with police, schools and residents develop strategies to eliminate the problems and build stronger neighborhoods.
The goal of Community Prosecution is to help ensure that the criminal justice system is accountable and responsive to the residents of Rockland County by building stronger connections between what happens in the courtroom and what is happening in local communities.
The Rockland County District Attorney has established Community Prosecution offices in North Rockland, Clarkstown, South Rockland, Ramapo and Spring Valley. We encourage all residents to provide feedback about a specific case or general comments about crime in your community. Working to make Rockland County an even safer place involves you!
The Assistant District Attorneys assigned to each town will interact with the community at the neighborhood level to recruit volunteers and to identify and solve problems that contribute to crime and pose hazards to public order and safety. They will provide the neighborhood-based structure around which specific Community Prosecution initiatives will be built.
Community prosecution is not merely putting prosecutors into the community to conduct the usual responsibilities, or to solve only one type of crime; rather, it is a comprehensive program designed to address livability issues in a target area.
Community prosecution is based on six principles:
It gives members of the community a greater voice in prioritizing and solving problems that plague neighborhoods.It promotes restorative justice benefiting victims, the community, schools and offenders.
It provides prosecutors a greater opportunity to be proactive in fighting crime.
It changes the focus of prosecution from simply obtaining convictions on assigned cases to solving problems in neighborhoods. This ensures that crime problems will not reoccur.
It assists law enforcement agencies in their community policing efforts.
It assists law enforcement and residents of the community in their fight against crime by involving local citizen's groups that can provide information to police regarding crime evidence.
Community Prosecution has become more than just a new "theory" in law enforcement; it is proving to be a promising approach embraced by prosecutors, police and communities alike. The "proof" is that community members, special interest groups, civic associations, businesses, and the faith community are consulting regularly with prosecutors about the problems in their neighborhoods. Consequently, these community members feel a sense of ownership in their community and feel empowered to confront problems as they arise.
Community Prosecution in Rockland County prevents crime by addressing its underlying causes in concert with local officials, police departments, schools and neighborhoods.
The Community Prosecution model has been used to great effect in several U.S. cities including Detroit, Seattle, Portland, Minneapolis and Brooklyn, New York.