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New Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor Ready to Take the Reins

The Pennsylvania District Attorneys Institute – the educational and training branch of the PDAA – is excited to welcome prosecutor Ashley Goshert as the Commonwealth’s new Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor (TSRP).  Ashley will serve our state as a resource for law enforcement and county DAs in dealing with highway safety cases, including Driving Under the Influence cases (DUIs), and will be

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Partner Profile: Putting Child Abuse Victims First in Montgomery County

April is a significant month for crime victims across Pennsylvania and across our country, with the recognition of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, National Sexual Assault Awareness Month and National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (April 8-15). Each of these annual observances are dedicated to raising awareness about various forms of assault, educating communities about prevention, and celebrating the progress we’ve

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Up Close Chester County: Ramping Up Resources to Fight the Rise in Child Abuse Cases

April marks national Child Abuse Prevention Month. For prosecutors, there are few cases more difficult than child abuse. Every time a child is abused, it is a tragedy. Last year, the Chester County District Attorney’s Office handled one of the most disturbing child abuse cases the county had ever witnessed with the conviction of three adults charged in the torture and

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Safe Schools Start With Collaboration

School safety is not a new issue, but recent events have brought into sharp focus the need for schools, law enforcement and the community to work together to provide consistently safe environments for learning and to be prepared in the event of an emergency or crisis. In 2008, the Lehigh County District Attorney’s office created the Safe Schools Task Force to

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Dauphin County DA Applies Experience to New Role as Lead Prosecutor

Fran Chardo is Dauphin County’s new District Attorney. He was sworn in on January 2, 2018 after he was appointed following his predecessor, Ed Marsico’s transition to Judge of the Court of Common Pleas. While the title District Attorney and some of the job responsibilities may be new to Fran, the role of prosecutor and the responsibilities that come with

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NAMSDL Working with Others to Fight Drug and Alcohol Crisis

By Rich Long, Executive Director of PDAA and Director/Legal Resource Prosecutor of PDAI Underfunding is one of the biggest challenges to fighting the drug and alcohol crisis in the U.S. today. National resources for treatment are 10 percent of what they should be to provide open beds, insurance, medication and support systems to people who struggle with substance abuse. The National

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Local Approach in Armstrong County has Worked Through Drugs Kill Dreams

Written by Scott Andreassi, Armstrong County District Attorney According to PennLive, the number of opioid-related hospitalizations has increased fourfold from 2010, and in the U.S. 52,404 people died from opioid overdoses in 2016. The opioid epidemic has intensified, and we need to do more particularly at the local level and with youth programs to keep children safe and drug-free now and

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Restitution — Ensuring Economic Justice for ALL Crime Victims

Restitution is a critical tool for prosecutors to achieve economic justice for crime victims, as well as economic accountability for offenders.  But what happens when the courts decide that a victim is NOT a victim?  That is the legal issue created by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision in Commonwealth v. Veon, 150 A.3d 425 (Pa. 2016).  This issue demands legislative

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Legislative: Strong Start — New Public Safety Laws of 2017

With the Legislature gearing back up for the Fall, we wanted to take a moment and highlight some of the more significant new public safety laws that have been enacted thus far in 2017. The new laws cover a wide range of areas involving public safety and law enforcement and were enacted as a result of significant collaboration with numerous

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Pennsylvania Lawyers Fund for Client Security

By Stefanie Salavantis, Luzerne County District Attorney and Treasurer of the Pennsylvania Lawyers Fund for Client Security and Kevin R. Steele, Montgomery County District Attorney All lawyers take an oath, and the vast majority of lawyers uphold that oath. Unfortunately, there are a few lawyers who misappropriate or outright steal client funds and property. To preserve the integrity and protect the

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