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NCJ Number: NCJ 194262     Find in a Library
Title: Role of the Multnomah County District Attorney in Order Maintenance: 1990-2000
Series: NIJ Research Report
Author(s): Barbara Boland
Date Published: 12/2001
Page Count: 47
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
Grant Number: 95-IJ-CX-0112
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF 
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This description and analysis of the work of deputy district attorneys assigned to the Multnomah County (Oregon) District Attorney's community prosecution unit argues that citizenry demands for attention to low-level problems of public order are drawing the District Attorney's Office into the task of order maintenance previously left to the police, such that prosecutors are shifting from their traditional focus on adversarial litigation.
Abstract: The Portland Neighborhood District Attorney (NDA) unit is unique in its assignment of eight deputy district attorneys to work full-time on citizen-identified, quality-of-life issues (the popular term for order maintenance). This report describes the genesis of the NDA unit; other events in Portland of which the NDA unit was but one part; the geography of the drug and disorder problem that was the impetus for the formation of the NDA unit; and events in one neighborhood for a decade, which exemplify the essential features of the organizational changes that are emerging over time. The information presented in this report was collected over a period of 7 years, beginning in March 1994 through July 2000, including 12 weeks on site. The primary sources of information were the attorneys, citizens, and police officers involved in the activities described, as well as others involved in similar activities throughout the city. Data were collected through interviews, on-site observation, analysis of monthly attorney work reports, public documents such as action plans, a daily review of Portland's major newspaper, and statistical reports from a variety of sources. Findings showed that the NDA brought a variety of skills to the collective efforts to address public order and drug-dealing in the downtown area. The NDA's brought to this effort what no other resource could bring, i.e., their knowledge of the law and the power of the DA's office to invoke the law to address behaviors that for the most part were problems of public order. The NDA used those areas of the legal code that regulate mostly minor offenses against public order, in which the primary goal is maintaining the public peace rather than punishment of the perpetrators. The solutions devised did not depend for the most part on invoking the adversarial process or the deprivations of liberty associated with the adversarial process. Operationally, the police must intervene on the community's behalf, and when police intervention alone does not result in compliance, it is the NDA's who defend the community's right to intervene by making sure the legal and operational capacity is in place to bring violators in front of a judge, who can affirm the legality of the intervention. 5 tables and a 47-item bibliography
Main Term(s): Community crime prevention programs
Index Term(s): Community action programs ; Prosecutors ; Drug law offenses ; Community involvement ; Public order offenses ; NIJ final report ; Oregon
Note: Dataset may be archived by the NIJ Data Resources Program at the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data
   
  To cite this abstract, use the following link:
https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/Publications/abstract.aspx?ID=194262

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