Leadership View: Prosecution Principles: A Run-Down of the Best Software for DAs
Authored by Nathan Leatherwood, Head of Growth
In the criminal justice system, the Prosecutor is responsible for presenting the case against the defendant and ensuring that justice is served. In the last 12 months, I’ve traveled the country speaking with Prosecutors and what I’ve found is that many of their concerns are aligned. They need better communication tools, streamlined ways to collect and analyze evidence, and they need tools custom-built to state laws and their process. Bottom line – prosecutors can’t win cases unsupported; they need assistance from law enforcement, administrative staff, and yes, high-quality software.
Defense Attorneys are known to have private sector tools and resources that many Prosecutors do not. This can leave most Prosecutors feeling like they are already behind the eight ball. Fortunately, there are several options for prosecutors looking to get an edge in their cases. In this post, we’ll look at 3 of the best software programs for prosecutors, including their key features and benefits.
1. Messaging Apps -> Microsoft Teams or Slack: When working on high-volume or high-profile cases, communication is key. Modern messaging apps such as Microsoft Teams allow users to communicate more effectively and store running threads of commentary around particular cases. To align these communication threads with other applications, URL’s can be included, and documents shared to further drive an information narrative. Most options today have IT administrator settings allowing for data retention or deletion where appropriate for audit trails.
2. Digital Evidence Management: This software helps users organize and keep track of all the evidence in a case, including photos, videos, reports, and more. It also allows users to tag and categorize evidence to be easily accessed later. Because of a lack of tools in this vertical, offices across the country have resorted to unsecure methods such as copying to USB flash drives or burning to CD’s. Some offices are even utilizing non-CJIS-compliant tools from Dropbox or box.com. With a CJIS-compliant, purpose-built tool such as CivicDocs, law enforcement agencies can upload even juvenile or top-secret evidence directly to the Prosecutors office.
3. Case Management Software: This software should provide users with a complete overview of the trial process, from jury selection to opening statements to closing arguments. It also includes a library of sample motions and exhibits, so you can be as prepared as possible for every step of the trial. With a solution such as CivicCase, Prosecutors are able to closely align warrants, arrests, and evidence with a case in a single field of view. This aggregation point of up-to-date information allows administrative time to be reduced and data entry errors to be all but eliminated. With future capabilities from AI and machine learning, these applications will one day be serving up recommendations on case handling based on prior cases and what was successful.
Prosecutors have a lot on their plate; they need to be organized, prepared, and knowledgeable in order to effectively do their job. Luckily, there are a number of great software programs out there that can help them in all aspects of their work, from preparing for trial to organizing evidence to advocating for sentencing. If you’re a prosecutor looking for an edge in your cases, be sure to check out one (or all) of these three software programs!
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