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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 69686 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Priority Prosecution Program - Final Report
Corporate Author: Middlesex Cty District Attorney's Office
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 242
Sponsoring Agency: Massachusetts Cmtte on Criminal Justice
Boston, MA 02108
Middlesex Cty District Attorney's Office
Cambridge, MA 02141
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 78DF-AX-0202
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The Priority Prosecution Program in Middelsex County, Massachusetts, is evaluated for the period November 1, 1978, through January 15, 1980.
Abstract: The program was funded through the LEAA and was intended to provide for the early identification of cases involving 'career criminals,' to complete pretrial preparation and prosecution of such cases within 90 days after arrest, and to obtain a conviction upon the most serious offense chargeable for a maximum sentence of incarceration. A Priority Prosecution Unit, composed of experienced trial assistant district attorneys and an independent investigative police liaison staff was set up. When possible, cases were presented to the Grand Jury immediately following arrest in order to remove them from the district court and exempt them from probable cause hearings. Summaries of witness interviews, police reports, and other discoverable matter were prepared for release to defense counsel immediately upon arraignment in Superior Court in order to speed up dispositions, and program cases were accorded immediate priority on the trial calendar. Police and prosecution training seminars were conducted in procedures of thorough case preparation. The program's accomplishments included a 74 percent conviction rate for rape, robbery, aggravated assault, and burglary, as compared to a preprogram rate of 62 percent. Improved police-prosecution coordination in the investigation and preparation of cases for trial was achieved, as well as a quicker disposal of priority cases, although the 90-day goal was not attained. A system of case management and file control for uniformity and continuity in matters transferred from district to superior court was implemented. The program had a lower default rate than that of nonprogram cases. Improved public perception of the administration of justice as witnessed through letters of support. Appendixes contain the Superior Court trial list procedure, information on the filing system, sample forms, a description of the organization of the district attorney's office, a District Court procedures manual, quarterly statistical summary reports, and copies of letters of support.
Index Term(s): Court case flow management; Court management; Court reform; Judicial process; Massachusetts; Prosecution; Prosecution model; Prosecutorial discretion; State courts
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