Smart Prosecution Initiative

The Smart Prosecution Initiative builds off of the lessons learned from BJA?s other SMART Suite programs and seeks to pair action researchers with prosecutor offices to develop solutions?such as ?hot spot? strategies, sophisticated crime analysis, offender-based policies, and risk and needs assessment?that

credit: Flickr ~ Robert Kuykendall
create prosecution strategies in an effort to break down information silos, advance communities, improve public trust and confidence in the justice system, and increase public safety.

As prosecutors implement innovative, best practices or evidenced-based approaches to address the goals listed below, there is a need to evaluate their efforts.

The Smart Prosecution Initiative seeks to encourage exploration of new solutions to public safety concerns, as well as internal operations and organizational structure, while employing research partners at the problem definition stage through assessment of strategies and solutions.

Some creative solutions developed by prosecutors around the country include changing how their organizations prioritize cases, using zone/geographic prosecution, using crime analysis tools to reduce gun violence, nuisance abatement, crime prevention through environmental design, drug-free and prostitute-free zones, restorative justice, community courts, truancy abatement, diversion programs, crime analysis, and cyber-crime strategies to improve public safety.

Prosecutors are becoming partnership builders who bring the police, the community, and other criminal justice and local agencies together to find ways they can work together to solve problems in their jurisdictions.

The goal of Smart Prosecution is to develop a body of knowledge about data-driven strategies?innovative, best practice, or evidenced-based?as they are implemented by prosecutors.

BJA sought applications from state, local, or tribal prosecutor agencies interested in testing data-driven approaches that address one or more of the following three goals:

? Promoting fair, impartial, and expeditious pursuit of justice;
? Ensuring safe communities; and
? Promoting integrity in the prosecution profession and effective coordination in the criminal justice system.

Agency - Department of Justice

The Department of Justice enforces the law and defends the interest of the United States, ensuring public safety against threats foreign and domestic; providing Federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; seeking just punishment for those guilty of unlawful pursuits; and ensuring fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.

Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories

Selected Recipients for this Program

RecipientAmount Start DateEnd Date
San Joaquin, County Of $ 337,700   2021-10-012023-10-01
Montgomery, County Of $ 197,215   2021-10-012023-10-01
St Clair, County Of $ 325,000   2021-10-012023-10-01
Racine, County Of $ 323,197   2021-10-012023-10-01
County Of Vanderburgh $ 339,986   2021-10-012023-09-30
Tulsa County District Attorney $ 339,998   2021-10-012023-09-30
Boulder, County Of $ 340,000   2021-10-012023-09-30
Arlington, County Of $ 340,000   2021-10-012023-09-30
Richland, County Of $ 340,000   2021-10-012023-09-30
Waukesha, County Of $ 340,000   2021-10-012023-09-30

Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2016: Kings County District Attorney?s Office (Brooklyn) PROJECT: The Brooklyn Young Adult Justice Initiative As of June 23, the site reports 1,781 open cases pending in the Adolescent Diversion Court, which offers diversion instead of prosecution for young adults, 16-24 years old, charged with misdemeanor offenses, who are at the greatest risk for re-offending and/or are facing more serious criminal consequences. Two Assistant District Attorneys joined the Bureau since June, bringing the total number of prosecutors in the unit up to five. San Diego City Attorney?s Office PROJECT: The Community Justice Initiative (CJI) CJI uses data and evidence-based practices to restore justice and increase effectiveness and efficiency through a post-plea, city-wide diversion initiative to provide accountability, early intervention, and swift consequences for participants charged with eligible misdemeanor offenses. As of June 30, the site reports that: 3,943 offers made; 2,650 offers accepted; 1,293 offers rejected; 2,048 offers completed; and 423 participants failed out of the program. These numbers reflect enrollment since November 2016. The site has also completed 224 CJI Proxy Risk Screenings and 61 CJI assessments. The site received its software platform/kiosk for client screening. The kiosks will electronically administer the proxy screen to determine high, medium, or low risk scores for program participants (a case manager previously conducted the risk assessment). The site is working with the courthouse for installation, and expects the kiosks to be up and running by September. The site is also building new software for the kiosks. District of Columbia Office of the Attorney General PROJECT: Using Our Brains: Reducing Recidivism among Youth and Young Adults The site is furthering collaboration with the DC US Attorney?s Office (USAO). Both offices plan to develop a diversion-based initiative, using restorative justice, for youth (ages 12-17) and young adults (ages 18-24) who commit certain crimes, such as theft, destruction of property and non-injury simple assault cases with victim consent. The team is evaluating USAO data for program development. The site hired a restorative justice coordinator and two facilitators who will staff their restorative justice panels. The site team, partners, and office staff will receive ongoing support and assistance for program implementation and restorative justice training from the Baltimore Community Conferencing Center. Jackson County Prosecutor?s Office (Kansas City) PROJECT: Jackson County Prosecutor?s Office Smart Prosecution Initiative The site?s geographic-based initiative targets the ?East Zone,? the most violent area within Kansas City. Team members will collaborate with law enforcement, community partnership specialists, and community members to assess crime-related problems in the East Zone and implement strategies to address them. A system for hot spot cases has been developed. The site has access to ?sophisticated mapping software.? The Essex County Prosecutor?s Office (Newark) PROJECT: Essex County SMART Social Media Initiative A specialized unit has been developed to investigate and prosecute cases based on suspects? usage of social media. The site envisions a systematic, proactive approach to social-media mining that will reduce crime, empower victims, promote fair and impartial justice, and instill the public?s confidence in criminal justice. Since the beginning of the initiative, the team has experienced successful identification hearings where witnesses and victims identify defendants without law enforcement involvement. The site continues to educate the judges about this process. The site continues screening about 3-6 potential cases per week, and reports that most cases have social media connections, due to witnesses initially identifying defendants through social media. Since June, the site has 19 confirmed cases in the treatment group, and another 50 tentative cases. District Attorney of Chatham County (Savannah) PROJECT: The Chatham County Smart Prosecution Program The initiative aims to reduce gun, local group, and gang violence by focusing on: identifying and targeting a geographic hot spot for gun violence in the Savannah area and most violent offenders within it; tracking and prioritizing prosecution and individuals within the hot spot; diverting non-essential cases (e.g., theft and simple drug possession) to alternative programs; and, engaging with community groups within the hot spot through meetings, social media forums, and other outreach strategies. As of June 26, there are 19 active cases in the target zone area, including both new charges and probation violations. Total cases ? including active and disposed cases ? have reached 30. The site?s goal is to reach 50 active cases soon. The site continues its work with engaging community members, by attending neighborhood association meetings. The program ?End Violence Now? is now housed under the District Attorney?s office; this move will promote community engagement and allow team members to work directly with the Youth Intercept Program. The site?s researchers at Georgia Southern University are developing a process evaluation tool. The researchers are also creating one-page briefs on certain topics (such as policing hot spots) that can be quickly digested and used by practitioners. The researchers are currently focusing on social network analysis and spatial analysis, and have recently received data from the Savannah Area Regional Intelligence Center. Fiscal Year 2017: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2018: No Current Data Available

Uses and Use Restrictions

Funding is for site-based awards and training and technical assistance (TTA).

Funds maybe used to test data-driven strategies?innovative, best practice, or evidenced-based?as they are implemented by prosecutors.

Smart Prosecution applicants will identify a problem to be addressed and enlist a local research partner to help assess the effectiveness of their Smart Prosecution effort.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Site-based-- Eligible applicants are limited to state, local, and tribal prosecutor agencies or a government agency acting as fiscal agent for the applicant. TTA-- Eligible applicants are limited to for-profit (commercial) organizations, nonprofit organizations, and institutions of higher learning that support national initiatives to improve the functioning of the criminal justice system.

For-profit organizations must agree to waive any profit or fees for services.

Beneficiary Eligibility



The application must include: Application for Federal Assistance (Standard Form 424); Program Abstract; Program Narrative; Budget and Budget Narrative. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

The application of E.O.

12372 is contingent upon whether the State has designated an entity to coordinate and review proposed federal financial assistance.

See list of States that require this at:

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Applicants must submit completed applications via the Office of Justice Programs, Grants Management System or through following established criteria. The receipt, review, and analysis of applications will follow Office of Justice Programs policies and procedures for the administration of grant applications. Specific application instructions for solicitations are available at the Office of Justice Programs web site The 2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards: Uniform administrative requirements apply to all OJP grants. The cost principles are generally applicable, except with respect to for-profit entities or to organizations listed at Appendix VIII to 2 CFR Part 200. Audit requirements are dependent upon the amount of the award and whether the grantee is a for-profit or non-profit entity.

Award Procedures

Upon approval by the Assistant Attorney General, successful applicants are notified via the Grants Management System. One copy of the grant award must be signed by the authorized official and returned to the Office of Justice Programs.


Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.


An act appropriating funds for the Department of Justice in the current fiscal year.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 90 to 120 days.


From 90 to 120 days. There are no appeal rights for rejection of a discretionary application. Please see section 28 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 18.


A grant may be supplemented.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula. This program has no matching requirements. This program does not have MOE requirements.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Assistance is drawn down according to a timeline submitted by grantee. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/release: Department of Justice Grants Financial Guide ( and Post Award Instructions (

Post Assistance Requirements


No program reports are required.

No cash reports are required.

Recipients are required to submit semi-annual Progress Reports.

Recipients are required to submit quarterly Financial Reports.

To assist in fulfilling the Departments responsibilities under the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA), Public Law 103-62, and the GPRA Modernization Act of 2010, Public Law 111?352, recipients must provide data that measures the results of their work.


In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503. Payments and transactions are subject to audits by the Government Accountability Office, Department of Justice?s Office of the Inspector General, State or local government auditors, and auditors from independent public accounting firms. Jurisdictions must follow their local policies and procedures, including maintenance of reliable and accurate accounting systems, record keeping, and systems of internal control.


In accordance with the requirement set forth in 2 CFR 200, Subpart F, grantees must maintain all financial records, supporting documents, statistical records, and all other records pertinent to the award for at least 3 years following the close of the most recent audit.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Project Grants (Discretionary)) FY 16 $2,211,852; FY 17 est $2,500,000; and FY 18 est $4,000,000

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

The total award for FY 17 is $2,207,304. $750,000 is for Technical Assistance and the remaining $1,457,304 is for the three site based awards.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Solicitation guidelines are posted on the Office of Justice Programs web site at . For additional guidance reference the Department of Justice Grants Financial Guide ( and Post award Instructions ( Applicable administrative requirements and Department of Justice regulations applicable to specific types of grantees can be found in title 2 of the Code of Federal Regulations (2 C.F.R.).

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

Tammy Brown U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs Bureau of Justice Assistance 810 7th Street, NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20531 Phone: 202-616-6500

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

See the current fiscal years? program solicitation available at the Office of Justice Programs web site (

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