Outreach is a critical component of public safety. The effectiveness of the U.S. Attorney’s Office is enhanced by its awareness of the perspectives and needs of those it serves. The U.S. Attorney’s Office dedicates resources to engaging with community members, non-governmental organizations, law enforcement and state, local and federal governmental agencies. To maximize efforts, the Office divides its Outreach Program into three components: Community, Law Enforcement, and Reentry and Prevention.
Community Engagement and Outreach
Maintaining public safety often requires a holistic problem-solving approach, which can be enhanced by increasing collaboration with a range of individuals. Providing the public with opportunities to access the U.S. Attorney’s Office is important, as it facilitates mutual understanding and trust in government, and most importantly, it reaffirms the Office’s main priority, which is to serve the people. The U.S. Attorney’s Office coordinates and participates in community meetings and forums around key issue areas. Among other things, we have coordinated events for youth and for those concerned about hate crimes and other civil rights issues. Often, the U.S. Attorney’s Office is engaged in multi-disciplinary coalitions that focus on specific areas of concern.
“Community outreach is a way for us to explain and discuss our priorities and the work we do to reduce crime, protect civil rights, punish criminals and vindicate the rights of victims. It is also a way for us to increase our own awareness of evolving community concerns so we can be responsive and genuinely helpful. A robust outreach team - like ours - is essential to building relationships in the community and maintaining the public's trust."
– Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell
Law Enforcement Engagement and Outreach
The U.S. Attorney’s Office engages daily with a range of public safety representatives, including federal investigative agencies, state police and local police departments. Law enforcement work closely with prosecutors at the U.S. Attorney’s Office to charge individuals who violate federal law. Annually, the U.S. Attorney’s Office coordinators a ceremony recognizing superior performance of individuals who are involved in specific federal cases. Representatives of the U.S. Attorney’s Office also meet regularly with public safety executives as a way to promote information sharing, coordination and collaboration around preventing and controlling crime. The U.S. Attorney’s Office often coordinates and sponsors events to raise awareness about specific topics or to increase skills among public safety representatives and others.
Reentry and Prevention
The U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO) devotes substantial resources to the development and implementation of programs at the county, state and federal level to promote successful outcomes for people who are returning home after being incarcerated. Each returning citizen will face challenges upon his or her release that make re-incarceration a real possibility. The USAO’s reentry programs focus on facilitating a successful transition back to the community and family through panel discussions that provide resources on employment, housing, child support, mental health and substance abuse treatment, and other needs. Addressing these key areas helps to address issues that contributed to negative decision-making and gets individuals back on their feet after months or years removed from the tasks of everyday life as a citizen. The reentry program is proven to reduce recidivism and re-offense.
The USAO also implements meaningful outreach efforts targeting prevention, particularly for youth. Some of the USAO’s initiatives include in-school programs featuring role models who promote good decision-making skills; resource fairs to fill out-of-school time with positive activities, creative/interactive projects for young people to support a mindset of nonviolence, a lecture series featuring subject matter experts in areas that affect the criminal justice system, and more.