New Report Highlights Success of Criminal Justice Pilot Program
A pilot program underscoring the charging function of the prosecutor as gatekeeper to the criminal justice system is producing positive results in terms of resolving criminal cases of those charged with low-level offenses by enhancing the engagement between prosecutors, police departments and the communities they represent and protect.
The findings concerning the Division of Criminal Justice’s Early Screening and Intervention Program are detailed in a report submitted this week to the General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Judiciary in accordance with Public Act 17-205.
“This report documents the promising results of this pilot program, which is built upon the historical role of the prosecutor as the gatekeeper to the criminal justice system,” said Chief State’s Attorney Kevin T. Kane.
“By allowing prosecutors to focus more attention on evaluating cases at the earliest stage of the judicial process, we are seeing that many cases involving low-level crimes can be resolved in less time and with better results for all concerned,” Chief State’s Attorney Kane said.
Funded with private support from the Herbert and Nell Singer Foundation and the Center for Court Innovation, the Early Screening and Intervention Program operates on a pilot basis in the Geographical Area courts in Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, New London, Norwich and Waterbury. The G.A. courts in Stamford and Norwalk were involved in the program for comparison purposes.
Prosecutors assigned to the program focus on screening cases when they first come into the system before the arrested person makes a court appearance. The prosecutor works with a resource coordinator to determine which cases can best be handled by referral to a service or program in the community.
“The program reinforces the historical role of the prosecutor, which is not only to determine what to charge, but whether to charge at all,” Chief State’s Attorney Kane said. “It is not just another addition to the already long list of diversionary programs in that it does not divert a case that has already gone into the system, but provides intervention and resolution at the outset.”
The full report on the Early Intervention and Screening Program can be downloaded by following this link (PDF Format - Size 2.2MB)