Friday, December 15, 2006

"COPPS" program

Salt Lake City’s Community Oriented Police and Prosecution Strategies (COPPS) project has made the ‘shortlist’ for the World Leadership Award.

The COPPS project is a proactive, collaborative, solution based approach to criminal justice. It is a partnership between law enforcement, prosecution, community, government and non-government organization. COPPS utilizes a three tiered approach which is layered upon each other to create a comprehensive criminal and community justice response. The first tier is our CAT Teams (Community Action Teams), the second tier is “Alternatives to Incarceration” and the third tier consists of Prosecution.
Community Action Teams consist of a multi agency approach to solving community problems. The teams are organized around the seven city council districts working collaboratively to solve issues at the neighborhood level. The teams address and creatively seek out solutions for a wide variety of quality of life issues, including but not limited to neighborhood gang, drug and serious public health issues.

“Alternatives to Incarceration” seek to transition individuals out of the criminal justice system who benefit from interventions that address their core issues. A series of programs initiated through the prosecutor’s office and in collaboration with various agencies seek to address this population. “Crisis Intervention Teams,” Mental Health Court, Misdemeanor Drug Court, Domestic Violence Court, Johns Program, Dui Court, Passages and Public Sex Crimes are such programs.

The third tier is for the prosecution of individuals for offenses that cannot be resolved through the first two tiers of response. This philosophy of creative problem solving has been instrumental in developing and implementing programs focusing on domestic violence, victim support services, and victim counseling.
The collective effect of the three tier process is a comprehensive approach to address criminal justice in the community with a goal of providing a safe and just environment for all of our residents. This approach involves the community, minimizes the costs and gives offenders a chance to turn their lives around through acceptance of responsibility, treatment, education and counseling. The program depends on the cooperation of police, prosecution and various other partners to creatively solve the problem and to be innovative in our public service and public safety response.

“I congratulate the Salt Lake City Police Department and Prosecutor’s Office for earning such well-deserved recognition for the City’s restorative justice programs,” says Mayor Rocky Anderson. “With the guidance and leadership of City Prosecutor Sim Gill and Police Chief Chris Burbank, these programs have provided restitution for victims and our community while fostering rehabilitation for offenders, and are a great credit to our criminal justice system.”

The World Leadership Forum is a not-for-profit organization which promotes leadership internationally. Awards are given to cities whose leaders have shown exceptional imagination, foresight or resilience in eleven different categories. The list has been narrowed down from 400 cities to the top 28 cities. Salt Lake City, Madrid, Spain and Stuttgart, Germany are the contenders in the ‘Law and Order’ category.

The 28 cities will present their projects to the judges in London on December 5 and 6, 2006. The winners of each category will then be announced at the Royal Courts of Justice in London on December 6, 2006. The judges will apply three criteria: the quality of leadership displayed, the difficulties, or obstacles, that the city has overcome; and the degree of inspiration that the city may give to others.

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