Community Prosecution and Training oversees all legal training and seeks to proactively address public safety concerns and solve quality of life issues that impact people in our communities.
In our office, an Assistant District Attorney receives training before their first day as a prosecutor and will continue legal education throughout their career. All legal training is overseen by Deputy District Attorney Mara McCabe and Assistant District Attorney Alicia Lilley. In addition to providing continuing legal education to our staff, our office also coordinates training with our local law enforcement agencies and the police academy.
The New York State Assembly and Senate passed a comprehensive criminal justice reform legislation relative to issues of bail, discovery and speedy trial. Prior to the reforms going into effect on January 1, 2020, our office proactively implemented new protocols and procedure changes to comply with the newly enacted legislation. Our office educated prosecutors and law enforcement agencies and participated in statewide committees and community forums on criminal justice reform legislation.
Ahead of a scheduled jury trial, the assigned Assistant District Attorneys present their case before the office's Trial Board, which consists of their Bureau Chief, Senior Trial Counsel and other experienced prosecutors. The trial board offers constructive feedback to ensure the just prosecution of the case.
Special Assistant Colleen Curtin Gable serves as Senior Trial Counsel for the office to provide mentorship to Assistant District Attorneys on all aspects of trial work. After the Trial Board meeting, Senior Trial Counsel works closely with the prosecutors and assists in the preparation of motions in limine, jury selection, opening statements, direct and cross examinations, summations and other issues that arise during trials. Senior Trial Counsel is also present in the courtroom, in an advisory role, while the trial is conducted.
Special Assistant Natalie Lesh oversees community prosecution for our office. Community Prosecution seeks to collaborate with local law enforcement, public officials, community-based organizations and community members to address issues impacting residents in our communities and enhance public safety. Objectives include creating innovative criminal and community justice programs and providing outreach and referrals on behalf of community members to address their specific need.
Community Prosecution Programs: