DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE RELEASES ITS

2011 ANNUAL REPORT

 

 

 

Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore today has released the 2011 Annual Report of the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office.

 

The 51 page report outlines the accomplishments and initiatives of the District Attorney’s office in 2011, setting goals for 2012 and looking ahead in a challenging fiscal climate to maintaining programs that have been implemented over the last six years.

 

“I am pleased to report on the work of the District Attorney’s Office in this 2011 Annual Report, which marks the completion of my sixth year as Westchester County’s District Attorney and chief law enforcement officer,” said District Attorney Janet DiFiore. “We have worked hard with our partners in law enforcement and with communities around the County to enhance public safety for all those who live and work here. The core mission of the District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting crime, and we have focused intently on prosecuting each of our cases with the highest standards of fairness and effectiveness. At the same time, we have remained committed to proactive crime prevention initiatives and public education programs that address the factors that drive crime in our communities.”

 

  • In 2011, as in previous years, our record of convictions in felony and violent felony cases of over 98% and 97% respectively, surpassed the statewide average. Similarly, our percentage of defendants convicted of violent felonies who were sentenced to jail or prison terms also surpassed the statewide average. We achieve these outcomes by focusing resources on violent felonies through a well established practice of vertical prosecution and early legal review and case enhancement.

 

  • In 2011-12, the District Attorney had the honor of serving as President of the District Attorneys Association of the State of New York (DAASNY), an organization formed in 1909 and which includes New York’s 62 elected District Attorneys.  Its mission is to enhance the efficiency of the criminal justice system, improve the procedure of the prosecution of crime and support or oppose legislation for the amendment of the criminal law. To achieve these goals, DAASNY has focused on ways to reduce the risk of wrongful convictions by reviewing prosecutors’ procedures and conducting statewide training. In 2011, DAASNY’s Best Practices Committee was involved, along with law enforcement and NYPTI and DCJS, in the training and implementation of the new statewide identification procedures designed to reduce any suggestive cues, unintended or otherwise, and enhance the reliability and accuracy of an identification by a witness.  In addition, in 2011, DAASNY’s Best Practices and Ethics Committees published and distributed to every DA’s Office in the State a guidebook on the ethical obligations of prosecutors.  It is intended to supplement both the mandatory continuing education and independent study of every prosecutor as to the governing law insuring the fairness of the prosecution.

 

“In my six years as District Attorney, the Office has maintained a record of sound financial management. In addition to seeking federal and New York State grant funding to support our work, we use money forfeited from criminal activity to fund appropriate prosecution initiatives and equipment, thereby decreasing the burden on Westchester taxpayers. We use our personnel and resources strategically, and we have returned an average of almost $1 million taxpayer dollars per year to the County,” added District Attorney Janet DiFiore.