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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 800 Arizona prosecutors:

Apache County 7
Cochise County 15
Coconino County 22
Gila County 14
Graham County 5
Greenlee County 3
La Paz County 7
Maricopa County 303
Mohave County 20
Navajo County 17
Pima County 81
Pinal County 42
Santa Cruz County 9
Yavapai County 26
Yuma County 21
Attorney General's Office 71
City of Apache Junction 2
City of Casa Grande 4
City of Chandler 7
City of Glendale 8
Lake Havasu City 2
City of Mesa 16
Town of Oro Valley 2
City of Page 1
City of Paradise Valley 1
City of Peoria 4
City of Phoenix 50
City of Prescott 1
City of Scottsdale 12
City of Sedona 1
City of Tucson 26

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
Legislative Policy Committee (LPC): Policy issues
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, Staff Attorney, Office Manager, Meeting and Technology Coordinator, and Administrative Assistant.  Interns and externs from the state’s law schools supplement the workforce.

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: Summer Conference, Basic/Intermediate Advocacy, Professionalism for Prosecutors (State Bar-mandate); Capital Litigation; Criminal Year (3 locations statewide); Ethics; Constitutional Law; Legal Assistant and Support Staff seminars; 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 198 continuing legal education (CLE) hours. 

  FY 2014 FY 2013 FY 2012 FY 2011 FY 2010
Attendees 2355 2036 2034 1839 1743
CLE Hours 236 265 229 227 191

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.

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.

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.