1.1 Who Should Read This Volume?

This volume is primarily addressed to local, state, and federal prosecutors’ offices in the United States. As gatekeepers to the criminal justice system, prosecutors have a unique impact on the administration of justice in sexual violence cases because of their actual and perceived decision-making.

This resource and the accompanying Volume I promote research-informed prosecutorial decisions and practices, as well as a method for determining whether promising practices are being implemented and the outcomes associated with these practices; through such a performance management system, we can begin to reverse the documented attrition improperly occurring in these cases.

However, prosecutors are by no means the only actors responsible for seeking justice for victims of sexual violence; nor should they be. A comprehensive and successful response depends upon the work of all stakeholders throughout the system, including law enforcement, medical forensic examiners, and advocates.

Strong collaboration among these professionals is essential: if one organization in the multidisciplinary team does not do its job well, successful prosecution of sexual violence can be compromised. Just as these partners are critical to prosecution, so too are they critical to a successful performance management system.

The procedures discussed throughout this volume to develop and implement performance management procedures will benefit from the early and regular involvement of multidisciplinary stakeholders.3


3 Some prosecutors may find it useful to keep initial performance management efforts limited to their own offices, i.e., by only selecting outcome measures for which data is readily available to the prosecutor’s office. This may provide a useful foundation but should only be considered a first step to a more comprehensive performance management process. However, although this resource is targeted to prosecutors, it should be read by other stakeholders (e.g., law enforcement, advocacy) and where possible adapted and implemented. Prosecutors’ offices are encouraged to work with allied professionals to develop a comprehensive performance management system.