From The Trussville Tribune staff reports
BIRMINGHAM – U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town Thursday presented Alabama district attorneys with a new program to boost collaboration between state and federal prosecutors in choosing which jurisdiction is best for prosecuting repeat offenders or defendants accused of serious criminal conduct.
?Town detailed his Prosecutor-to-Prosecutor Program, or P3, at a statewide gathering of state prosecutors at The Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover for the Alabama District Attorneys Association 2018 Winter Conference. Every district attorney in the Northern District of Alabama has agreed to participate in P3, he said.
P3 is a six-step process by which state and federal prosecutors jointly determine whether a criminal case should be prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Town said. It is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, the Department of Justice’s centerpiece program for fighting violent crime. PSN and P3 both underscore the need to target the worst offenders in the worst areas of crime in order to reduce violence.
“This program will advance the common goal of state and federal prosecutors to charge our worst offenders with the most serious, readily provable offense in whichever jurisdiction offers the greatest available sanction,” Town said.
?P3 is designed to capture cases that, otherwise, would not come to the attention of federal prosecutors.
?P3 liaisons in the U.S. Attorney’s Office and in each of the district attorney’s offices within the Northern District will ensure consistent communication among the prosecutorial agencies. DA’s offices also have received a “P3 Overlay” identifying state and federal criminal statutes with similar elements.
Common elements that could trigger federal prosecution include use of a firearm, crossing of state lines, use of phones or internet to commit a crime, or victimizing an institution that is federally regulated or insured, or that receives federal grant funds.
?“The training conducted today is the product of local, state and federal law enforcement representatives investing hundreds of hours to develop P3’s strategic framework,” Town said. “Prosecutors at all levels can now collectively target our worst offenders like never before.”