Prosecutorial Discretion

Understanding and improving how prosecutors screen and charge criminal cases is a core component of the Deason Center's research and advocacy agenda. The Center's research in this area helps prosecutors across the nation advance sane, safe, and sustainable criminal legal reform.

DALLAS Partnership Project

The District Attorney Learning and Leadership through Application of Science (DALLAS) project is a Deason Center partnership with the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office. This powerful collaboration considers how prosecutorial reforms impact racial equity and due process, and empowers the District Attorney to make data-informed decisions.

Prosecutorial Charging Practices Project

The Prosecutorial Charging Practices Project takes a deep dive into the work of three mid-sized prosecutor’s offices. The study offers a holistic account of prosecutors’ screening and charging practices, exploring how prosecutors engage with police, evaluate evidence, and assess the public interest in prosecution. Read the Center's Series Preview.

Policing Racial Disparities

This 2019 study investigated racial disparities in how police in four Dallas municipalities handled low-level drug arrests. The study's results will appear in the Center’s 2021 report, A Preliminary Look at Disparities in Police Enforcement of Low-Level Drug Laws. The Center’s DALLAS Partnership Project builds on this important work.

Webinar: Innovations in Rural Prosecution

Across the country, in all types of jurisdictions, prosecutors are adding their voices to the call for criminal justice reform. Offered as part of the STAR Justice series, this panel features prosecutors from STAR areas discussing their problem-solving initiatives and procedural justice innovations.

Report: Series Preview: Screening and Charging Practices in Three Mid-Sized Jurisdictions

Understanding how prosecutors make their screening and charging decisions is essential to criminal legal reform. This preview report is the first in a series of publications that explores the screening and charging practices of prosecutors in three mid-sized jurisdictions. Through an innovative mixed-methods empirical study, the series provides a holistic account of prosecutors’ charging practices.

Series Preview: Screening and Charging Practices in Three Mid-Sized Jurisdictions, Deason Criminal Justice Reform Center (February 2021).