April 9, 2020 - Bulletin No. 2
Prosecutors' offices and court systems across the nation are being impacted by COVID-19. Their daily work to maintain constitutional justice is being uprooted, altered, and halted. CNA and NDAA have partnered to actively develop and disseminate useful COVID-19 response resources to prosecutors and courts to support them during this trying time. This weekly bulletin shares helpful information and resources, as well as upcoming virtual networking events.
Useful Resources
Best Practices Guide - Investigation and Prosecution of Domestic Violence Cases

As many victims must spend more time at home with their abuser, due to the current crisis, the country is seeing a rise in domestic violence. Prosecutors and judges are grappling with ways to best address this issue as courts decrease capacity. NDAA's Women Prosecutors section created this document which highlights key steps and strategies for the successful investigation and prosecution of domestic violence cases. It also includes information on how to best support victims as they navigate this process.


Note: While the guide provides useful material, it does not specifically address COVID-19, as it was drafted in 2017. CNA and NDAA are working together to develop guidance for working with victims of domestic violence during the current pandemic.

Access the document here
COVID-19 Protective Measures Taken by Prosecutors and Courts

Prosecutors and courts across the country are engaging in health safety actions to protect personnel from COVID-19. Other critical components of the criminal justice system, such as law enforcement and corrections, are also taking protective actions that have an impact on prosecutors, courts, and their efforts to continue to administer and operate the criminal justice system. This document summarizes example actions and important considerations for prosecutors and courts as they respond and adapt their work environments during and following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Access the document here

Upcoming Webinars

Health Safety for Prosecutors and Court Staff

On Monday, April 13, 2020 from 2:00-3:00 p.m. EDT , CNA and NDAA will host a webinar that will provide an overview of health safety recommendations for COVID-19 and discuss how these safety recommendations apply in a court room setting. The webinar will be in an interactive questions and answer format, featuring Nelson Bunn, Executive Director of NDAA, and Eric Trabert, Director and Chief Scientist of CNA's Center for Public Health Preparedness and Resilience.

To ensure that we are addressing your concerns, please share any specific health and safety topics that you would like addressed during the webinar (e.g., specific questions on maintaining your health and safety while being at work or attending court proceedings during these trying times). Please enter your questions when you register for the webinar.

Register for the webinar here


On Tuesday, Apr 14, 2020 from 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EDT , j oin speakers from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office to discuss federal and local prosecutors’ efforts to address COVID-19-related crimes as government entities across the country respond to an unprecedented attack on the health and well-being of communities. The webinar will take a deeper dive into DOJ's efforts in detecting, investigating and prosecuting wrongdoing related to the coronavirus global pandemic, including through the U.S. Attorney General’s creation of the COVID-19 Hoarding and Price Gouging Task Force. Also, learn from a local prosecutor how they set up a hotline, messaged to the public, fielded, tracked, acted on and investigated over 250 complaints, while working to educate merchants and encourage compliance before enforcement.

Register for the webinar here


On Tuesday, June 23, 2020 from 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM EDT, NDAA will host a webinar aiming to educate the audience about national best practices in Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Human Trafficking. Three White Papers produced by the NDAA Women's Prosecution Section will be described. It is the goal of this webinar to begin a national conversation about prosecutorial programs that are trauma-informed, culturally competent, and victim-centered .

Register for the webinar here .
Innovative Responses

California
Bail will be waived for all misdemeanors and many non-violent felonies beginning Monday, April 13. The order will remain in effect for 90 days after the end of the current State of Emergency. For more information, click here .

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The Montgomery County Solicitor has partnered with a domestic abuse nonprofit to provide hotel rooms for individuals applying for protection orders that would prohibit the two individuals from continuing to live together. Judges are continuing to conduct related hearings and have even utilized FaceTime, when necessary. For more information, click here .

Santa Clara County, California
The District Attorney's Office issued a public service announcement regarding hate crimes related to COVID-19. To view the video, click here.
Asked and Answered

What are various jurisdictions/localities doing to enforcement stay-at-home orders?

Measures taken to enforce these order run the gamut. In York, Pennsylvania , as part of traditional traffic stops, police are inquiring about activity and citing those who are out for non-essential reasons. Police in Kauai, Hawaii have set up checkpoints to ensure compliance. In Louisville, Kentucky , some residents have been ordered to wear ankle monitors if they refuse to remain home.
Help Us Help You
Moving forward, CNA and NDAA plan to host a series of podcasts and virtual meetings focused on your areas of concern during this ongoing crisis. Please take a moment to take this quick survey, so we can be sure than we are addressing the topics that matter to you.
Click the issue that is of most concern for you or your agency at this time:
Maintaining health safety for prosecutors
Prosecuting low-level offenses
Conducting grand juries
Improving technology capacities
Maintaining speedy trial times during court
Responding to dismissal motions
We want to hear from you! If you would like to submit questions or have other concerns, please email us at covid19_courts@cna.org .
COVID-19-related news articles, resources, and past bulletins will be posted on the NDAA website .
Continue to check the website for updated information.
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