Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2012


Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics





First Page


Last Page



"Smart on Crime" criminal justice reforms have emerged in recent years as shrinking government budgets and exploding incarceration rates have prompted scrutiny of the efficiency and efficacy of existing criminal justice approaches. Policymakers across the country have sought out new strategies designed to prevent crime and recidivism, enhance community safety, reduce our reliance on incarceration, and save taxpayer dollars. As a result, law enforcement, courts, and correctional agencies have been implementing innovative approaches in areas such as diversion, problem-solving courts, alternatives to incarceration, and ex-offender re-entry. However, the role of prosecutors and prosecutorial agencies in this story is often overlooked. This essay, written for the Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics Symposium on the Conscience and Culture of Prosecution, highlights the emergence of the "smart on crime" reform movement and argues that prosecutors should endeavor to serve as engines of criminal justice reform.



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