On November 26, 1973, the County Attorneys formed a service association for coordinating training for the prosecutor community, saving repetition of that function in each agency while ensuring consistent and timely dissemination of prosecutorial education and experience statewide. This collaboration exploited the exponential benefits of pooling talent and resources and remains an efficient mechanism for providing the continuing legal education and achieving high prosecutorial standards. In 1977, the legislature authorized the Arizona Prosecuting Attorneys’ Advisory Council, expanding the membership to the Attorney General, all County Attorneys, and City Prosecutors from cities with greater than 250,000 population, and one prosecutor representing all other municipalities, as well as one of the deans of the state’s two law schools.
APAAC is a vital resource for real time delivery of professional development training along with research in areas of specific interest, such as, analysis/drafting of statutory, regulatory and legal rule adoptions/ amendments. APAAC provides the prosecutorial community perspective in various policy discussions and by participating on committees i.e., Byrne JAG Grant (distributions for prosecutor student loan relief), O’Connor House, Judicial Council and Arizona Forensic Science Academy Board. A key resource for gathering information from prosecutorial counterparts, leveraging training opportunities and exchanging data and resources nationwide, APAAC connects prosecutors and the greater community.
APAAC serves 882 Arizona prosecutors:
|OFFICE||# OF PROSECUTORS|
|La Paz County||8|
|Santa Cruz County||9|
|Attorney General's Office||88|
|City of Apache Junction||1|
|City of Chandler||7|
|City of Flagstaff||4|
|City of Glendale||9|
|City of Goodyear||2|
|City of Mesa||15|
|City of Peoria||4|
|City of Phoenix||51|
|City of Prescott||2|
|City of San Luis||1|
|City of Scottsdale||12|
|City of Sedona||1|
|City of Surprise||4|
|City of Tempe||7|
|City of Tucson||24|
|City of Yuma||2|
|Lake Havasu City||2|
|Town of Florence||1|
|Town of Gilbert||8|
|Town of Marana||2|
|Town of Oro Valley||2|
|Town of Paradise Valley||1|
|Town of Prescott Valley||1|
|Town of Sahuarita||2|
COUNCIL & STAFF
The Council elects Chairman, Vice Chairman and Standing Committees:
Executive Committee: APAAC Management, budget, organizational structure
Finance Committee: Development of APAAC Budget and Review of APAAC Financial documents
Personnel Committee: APAAC Staffing and employee/organizational issues
Rules Committee: Review and comment on proposed rule changes to relevant legal rules
Best Practices Committee: Comprehensive statewide prosecutor training program
Staff consists of just five positions: Executive Director, Office Manager, Meeting and Technology Coordinator, Communication Liaison, and Administrative Assistant. Interns and externs from the state’s law schools supplement the workforce. APAAC also employs a Project Coordinator for the "What You Do Matters: Lessons from the Holocaust" program.
National Association of Prosecutor Coordinators (NAPC) provides a 50-state forum for the exchange of ideas, information on the development of prosecutors through meetings and links to relevant online resources as well as training in specific topical areas such as domestic violence and traffic. National Association of Counties provides the county perspective in the national debate.
A dedicated revenue stream comes from the community most likely to encounter the prosecutorial function-surcharges added to criminal fines and civil infractions related to driving and to certain game and fish violations. APAAC may also receive contributions, grants, gifts, donations, service or other financial assistance; identifies grant-funded training and coordinates access to ensure statewide prosecutorial participation, including, where possible, tribal and Arizona-based federal prosecutors.
APAAC sponsors and pays the cost of seminars including at least annually: Prosecutors' Conference, Basic/Intermediate Advocacy, Professionalism for Prosecutors (State Bar-mandate); Capital Litigation; Criminal Year (3 locations statewide); Ethics; Constitutional Law; Legal Assistant; Support Staff seminars and Victim Advocate; and, specialty seminars such as forensics and technology. APAAC staff offers tailored training at individual offices. Where possible, technology is utilized to provide web-based delivery, saving on the travel time/costs, such as, our On Demand training programs - one-hour video available on our website. Non-APAAC training funds are targeted at providing access to nationally based programs, including when possible travel expenses. APAAC reimburses travel costs based on the standards for Arizona state government employees. APAAC trains nearly 2000 attendees each year for an annual average of 215 continuing legal education (CLE) hours.
Data, cases, rule changes and case information are immediately distributed through email blasts to the prosecutor’s desktop, thus APAAC maintains the prosecutor contacts database. Through the website/social media and annual calendar, APAAC announces coming training attractions, shares information and pictorial reports of prosecutor-oriented events, and reports on relevant cases. APAAC’s website also provides notice of prosecutor related employment opportunities statewide, legislative information and includes a secure site for prosecutors to discuss issues, share forms and experiences and pick each other’s brains. APAAC is a repository for training materials and maintains hard copies for review in the APAAC library, which is also a central library for reference materials and historical documents.
In accordance with A.R.S. § 11-362, APAAC coordinates county programs through guidance documents such as a prosecutor’s manual for general reference and implementation guide for particular programs, saving hours of research and development that would otherwise be repeated in the 80+ agencies. Guidelines are in place in such areas as setting up diversion programs.
RESEARCH AND SPECIAL ENHANCEMENT PROGRAMS
APAAC provides real-time analysis of appellate decisions to line prosecutors; performs in-depth research on targeted issues and funds litigation enhancement support. This service frees the line prosecutor to focus on their own cases while being confident that new developments will be brought to them. Litigation/Technology Support includes expert witness consultation, analysis, and testimony in unusual or complex cases; resources for conflict cases; software/equipment for courtroom presentations; enhancing existing research capabilities in an office; in addition to creation, rewrite and update of chapters or sections of APAAC training manuals.
LAW STUDENT/ FELLOWSHIP PROGRAMS
APAAC funds fellowship programs at the state’s law schools, encouraging a career in prosecution for a 3rd year law student who attends clinic classes and works as an intern in “rotations” through the local prosecuting agencies. The Fellows' work as a prosecutor is facilitated by 17A. A.R.S. Sup.Ct.Rules, Rule 38(d). Annually, a legislature extern is recruited from a local law school; the extern earns course credit while gaining hands-on experience with criminal justice advocacy.