Articles about the use of restorative justice programmes by prosecutors, as well as articles by prosecutors about their experiences with them.
- Palmer. John W.. "Pre-Arrest Diversion: The Night Prosecutor's Program in Columbus, Ohio"
- Since 1972 the Columbus (Ohio) Night, Prosecutor’s Program, recently designated as an "Exemplary Project" by LEAA, has diverted thousands of criminal cases out of the formal criminal justice system. Instead of application of the criminal justice system’s typical "arrest-jail-court" procedure, criminal complaints involving interpersonal disputes—family arguments, landlord-tenant disagreements, neighborhood fights, and similar conduct of people who must continue to maintain close personal contact with one another& mdash;are diverted to a night prosecutor’s "office trial," no later than one week after the "crime." The victim, the accused, friends, neighbors, and other interested parties come together in a hearing, presided over by a Capital University law student, under the supervision of the city prosecutor. Hearings are held during the evenings to avoid loss of wages for the participants. The administrative hearings, based on the concept of victim confrontation, serve to reopen the channels of communication between the parties. Only about 2 per cent of the complaints referred to the night prosecutor result ,in filing of ,formal criminal charges and issuance of arrest warrants. Of greater significance, in less than 3 per cent of the cases heard by the night prosecutor does the complainant return and make a new charge against the party to the original dispute. Thus, the mediation and conciliation of interpersonal misdemeanors has proven to be an effective alternative to formal criminal process in such cases.
- Kent, Melissa. Prosecutors and the Sentencing Process in the Australian Capital Territory.
- This paper highlights the three different sentencing options in the A.C.T. ranging from the traditional common law approach, the diversionary sentencing approach of the Aboriginal Circle Court (the Ngambra Court) and the new Restorative Justice legislation. The prosecution take part in both traditional sentencing and Circle Court sentencing, but have very little contribution within the Restorative Justice model. It is hoped readers will get a general idea of the sentencing options available in the A.C.T. and the important role prosecutors can have within the sentencing process. (excerpt)
- Kaas, Glenn M. "Restorative Justice: A New Paradigm for the Prosecutor."
- This report profiles the Hartford, CT, Community Court, which opened in Nov. ’98 and uses RJ approaches for minor crimes. The court focuses on the reasons underlying the offensive behavior rather than on the offense and its possible penalties, and it seeks immediate provision of social services to address underlying issues. The court also provides a means for defendants to pay back the community for their offenses in the form of community service hours and to do that service as soon as possible after the commission of the offense.
- Gay, Fred. Restorative Justice and the Prosecutor
- Gay relates the dilemmas and frustrations many prosecutors feel as caseloads overwhelm their offices. As "gatekeepers" in the management of the criminal justice system, prosecutors may come to see restorative justice as a promising alternative to the current system. In fact, prosecutors are critical if restorative justice is to become an integrated systemic approach. To illustrate, Polk describes restorative justice initiatives and their history in the Polk County Attorney's Office in Des Moines, Iowa.
- Kaas, Glenn M. "Restorative Justice: A New Paradigm for the Prosecutor (A View From Hartford Community Court)."
- The court focuses on the reasons underlying the offensive behavior rather than on the offense and its possible penalties and seeks immediate provision of social services to address homelessness, hunger, mental disorders, drug abuse, or other underlying issues. Immediate intervention is another feature of the court. Offenders must appear within 48 hours of an arrest or summons. The court provides a means for these defendants to pay back the community for their nuisance offenses in the form of community service hours and to do that service as soon as possible after the commission of the offense. The prosecutor uses an approach that is less adversarial than is the norm for a prosecutor. The prosecutor engages the offender as almost a partner in the community service business rather than as another defendant to be prosecuted. Thus, the judge eventually dismisses 95 percent of the cases. The court processed 10,376 cases between November 10, 1998 and August 15, 2000. The city has benefited from almost 43,000 hours of community service. A small percentage of misdemeanor cases transfer to the regular superior court sessions. The court's experience demonstrates the need to disregard the usual adversarial approach and consider as successful any cases that end with an offender receiving assistance from a social service agency or providing community service.
- Refshauge, Richard. Justice For All - Victims, Defendants, Prisoners and the Community: Victims Rights and the Role of the Prosecutor
- The article discusses historical attitudes towards victims of crimes and what their legal rights are considered to be, focusing primarily on the legal history of Australia. The author goes on to direct the discussion towards the interaction between a prosecutor and a victim, developing the moral considerations and ethical intricacies of the prosecutor as both a professional trying to achieve a legal end and a citizen required to respect a fellow citizen who has suffered trauma.