Community Prosecution

Community Prosecution involves a long-term, proactive partnership among the prosecutor’s office, law enforcement, the community and public and private organizations, whereby the authority of the prosecutor’s office is used to solve problems, improve public safety and enhance the quality of life of community members. The National Center for Community Prosecution is a program of the National District Attorneys Association and is located at NDAA headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. Since 2001, NCCP has been, and continues to be, the leading source of training, technical assistance, research, and coordination for community prosecution programs throughout the United States.

Working with national, state, and local governments, private industry, and other partners, NCCP is able to develop and promote community prosecution initiatives, give prosecutors the tools to successfully implement them and educate prosecutors on how they can work with their communities to become better leaders in public safety.

NCCP encourages the implementation of the four Key Principles of Community Prosecution:

1. Recognizing the Community’s Role in Public Safety 
Rather than dictating to the public how to handle all crime and safety issues, community prosecutors invite community stakeholders to express their safety concerns, identify neighborhood problems, brainstorm appropriate responses and help the prosecutor’s office establish priorities.

2. Engaging in Problem Solving
Community prosecutors are problem-solvers who focus not merely on individual crimes once committed, but on such acts within a context. They view individual acts as having a history, potentially a future, and as part of a problem or set of problems within a community.

3. Establishing and Maintaining Partnerships
The criminal justice system is an interlocking network of agencies and departments that depend on each other to operate effectively. Community prosecutors build on these natural connections, encouraging greater communication, improved coordination, and stronger partnerships.

4. Evaluating Outcomes of Activities 
For community prosecutors, evaluating effectiveness cannot be solely decided upon a conviction rate. Community prosecutors must evaluate their activities and impact on neighborhoods, continuously adapting to the community’s needs. For more information, please download the final report on the Key Principles of Community Prosecution here.

The National Center for Community Prosecution has a number of resources available to assist community prosecutors:

  • Special Topic series monographs
  • Building Bridges quarterly newletter
  • ListServ
  • National and Regional conferences
  • On-site technical assistance
  • Telephone and email assistance
  • Consultant and expert database
  • Policies and procedures
  • Best practices

Please feel free to contact us anytime at 703.549.9222 or

This project was supported by Grant No. 2008-DD-BX-0699 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and the Office for Victims of Crime. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of the author and do not represent the official position or policies of the United State Department of Justice.

National District Attorneys Association
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Arlington, VA 22202

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