Enforcement, Prevention and Reentry Initiatives
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania serves the 3.8 million people living in the western part of the Commonwealth. As part of the U.S. Department of Justice, we prosecute criminal cases, bring civil actions and defend the federal government in federal court. We also work with law enforcement agencies and community partners to reduce crime through enforcement, prevention and prisoner reentry.
Our criminal enforcement efforts include prosecuting cases involving national security, civil rights violations, public corruption, white collar crime, environmental crimes, major illegal drug distribution, cybercrime, child exploitation, firearms offenses, immigration offenses, theft of trade secrets, and health care fraud, among others. Our civil enforcement efforts include bringing cases involving violations of civil rights, health care fraud, mortgage fraud and other forms of fraud against the federal government. We also use asset forfeiture as a tool to reclaim profits obtained by defendants in their illegal activities. In addition, we work to collect restitution on behalf of victims. Our appellate work involves preparing briefs and arguing cases before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia, Pa.
The U.S. Attorney's Office coordinates a number of prevention and community outreach efforts, including Project Safe Neighborhoods, a gun and gang crime reduction effort and the Weed and Seed Strategy, which is a community-based multi-agency approach to law enforcement, crime prevention, and neighborhood restoration. In addition, the U. S. Attorney’s Office has been actively engaging with various communities, including the Muslim, Arab-American and Sikh communities, to promote community law enforcement collaboration and to ensure the protection of civil rights and religious freedoms. The goal is to improve the Office's communication with members of these communities.
To protect the basic rights of every person and ensure safety in our communities, criminals must be prosecuted and punished. However, we also must help rehabilitate those who seek to reenter and live law abiding and productive lives. To this end, the U. S. Attorney’s Office is participating in several reentry initiatives, including the Reintegration Into Society Effort (RISE) Court, a joint undertaking by the U.S. District Court, U.S. Probation and Pre-trial Services, the Federal Public Defender's Office and the U.S. Attorney's Office. The initiative provides for intensive supervision of select federal offenders who participate in a reentry program. Successful completion of the program can result in a one-year reduction in a felon's term of supervised release.
Also, through the Youth Futures Commission, the Office is working with the Allegheny County Jail Collaborative, a program which improves reentry for inmates through high-quality employment, treatment and other programs. One key to successful reentry is repairing fractured relationships with family, who may be the primary source of housing and a buffer against negative influences