Community Prosecution Initiatives
The Special Projects and Community Affairs Bureau administers several community prosecution initiatives.
- SMART Program
- Narcotics Eviction Program
- Conviction Integrity Program
- It’s On Us Orange County, N.Y.
- The Uncommon Athlete
- Immigrant Affairs Initiative
The SMART (Strategic Methods Aimed at Reducing Truancy) Program brings the District Attorney into cases involving parents of truant students, when the parents refuse to cooperate with school officials to remedy the causes of their children’s truancy. The District Attorney’s authority is used as further incentive for parents to accept assistance or services to address the child’s truancy.
A parent who still refuses to cooperate could be charged with the crime of Endangering the Welfare of a Child. Since the District Attorney began the program in the August 2014, no parent has been charged, and in every case where the District Attorney intervened, or could have intervened, the student has returned to a consistent pattern of school attendance.
In October 2015, the District Attorney inaugurated the Narcotics Eviction Program. The program seeks to remove drug dealers and others running illegal businesses on rental property.
In October 2015, the District Attorney launched the Conviction Integrity Program (CIP), to review cases where a defendant claims to have been wrongfully convicted, or to have been convicted of a crime that was disproportionate to the conduct that the defendant committed.
The Counsel to the District Attorney, who is in charge of the Special Projects and Community Affairs Bureau, reviews those cases, and where a plausible claim is made, refers the case to a Committee of several members of the District Attorney’s staff, two police chiefs, and two criminal defense lawyers.
It’s On Us is a campaign begun by the White House in 2014, to raise awareness about sexual assault on college campuses. The initiative provides students, instructors, and administrators with tools to assist them in recognizing sexual assault as it is happening, and in intervening to prevent it before it occurs.
In December 2015, District Attorney Hoovler inaugurated It’s On Us Orange County, N.Y., bringing together representatives of SUNY Orange, Mount Saint Mary College, and the United States Military Academy; the Orange County Rape Crisis Program; Orange County Safe Homes; the Orange County Department of Mental Health; school superintendents; business leaders; and law enforcement. In fact, Orange County was designated by the White House as the first countywide It’s On Us cite in the United States.
The Uncommon Athlete is a program developed by Rachel’s Challenge and the Cal Ripken, Sr., Foundation, to impress on young athletes the values that will help them become adults who can lead and improve their communities – Perseverance, Relationships, Integrity, Courage, and Empathy – values represented in the acronym PRICE.
Since March 2016, when District Attorney Hoovler first brought The Uncommon Athlete to Orange County, over 3000 school administrators, athletic directors, coaches, and student athletes have seen the program. The program is part of District Attorney Hoovler’s effort to reduce bullying and hazing in Orange County schools, and he intends to bring the program back to the County periodically.
In August 2016, District Attorney Hoovler launched the Immigrant Affairs Initiative, which assists immigrant victims of crime in navigating through the criminal justice system.