2018 Child Endangerment Report

Prosecutor/Judicial Recommendations Training for Prosecutors, Judges, and Attorneys 2004 recommendations: Child endangerment issues should be an ongoing component of all training programs for prosecutors, judges and attorneys. This could be accomplished in the following manner: • Presentations at judicial conferences and state judicial meetings, • Development of a child endangerment tool kit, including video presentation, • Development of Continuing Legal Education (CLE) materials, including videos, • Materials and brochures that are made available through state legal training organizations, National Traffic Law Center (NTLC) and judicial colleges, and • Prosecutor training programs. 2017 update: The 2017 panel maintains these recommendations for criminal, civil and family attorneys and judges and suggests partnering with Judicial Outreach Liaisons to help develop and disseminate trainings and information on child endangerment. The 2017 panel recommends investing in Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutors (TSRP). The goal of the Traffic Safety Resource Program is to enable traffic prosecutors to better prepare themselves and their cases for trial by providing specialized training, legal research, practical resource material, and real-time trial support throughout the state. Vehicular homicide cases often present enormous challenges to prosecutors because of the technical complexity of drunk and drugged driving statutes and the sophistication of the scientific issues involved. Traffic prosecutors are typically the newest, least experienced members of the prosecutor’s office, and they are often pitted against seasoned, veteran defense attorneys who specialize in traffic offenses. TSRPs become experts in traffic law, improving the chances that more cases will make it to trial and win a conviction. They assist and teach other prosecutors in the state. The panel recommends that every state should have one TSRP. Sample Case Packets The 2017 panel recommends that MADD develop and disseminate sample criminal and family case law packets that can be used as a model by prosecutors. Continued & Increased Court Monitoring Since the mid-1980s, MADD volunteers and staff have monitored drunk driving court cases. Court monitoring is intended to enhance transparency and accountability within the criminal justice system and reduce the likelihood of repeat drunk driving offenses. Studies show that consistently placing an observer in the courtroom has a positive effect on case disposition. In addition to bringing more accountability to the judicial process, the Court Monitoring Program provides significant data that can be used for research purposes. The 2017 panel strongly recommends that this program continues and receives additional funding to expand and serve new markets and states. Additionally, the 2017 panel recommends the following: Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutors


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