The PENNSYLVANIA DISTRICT ATTORNEYS INSTITUTE, the education and training affiliate of the Association, was founded in 1983 for the purpose of developing and providing educational materials and training seminars for District Attorneys. In addition to providing training and materials to District Attorneys and their staffs, the Institute also conducts child abuse investigation courses, caselaw updates and other training courses for Pennsylvania’s law enforcement officials. It now administers programs to provide training to victim service professionals as well.
Statewide coordinated training maximizes networking opportunities and access to resources for each District Attorney’s Office. This training, described below, also enhances the ability of each District Attorney to effectively administer the Office of District Attorney no matter how limited the resources.
The BASIC PROSECUTOR’S COURSE, conducted by the Institute twice a year, is a four-day, intensive course for newly hired assistant district attorneys. Since 1984, the Institute has trained thousands of new assistant district attorneys through this course. The curriculum has been designed to give each assistant the “basics” in such areas as the Crimes Code, Rules of Criminal Procedure, search and seizure, drug prosecution, child abuse and DUI.
The NEWLY ELECTED DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEMINAR is a one-and-a-half-day course specifically designed for newly elected District Attorneys. Conducted every other year, in conjunction with the Mid-Winter Meeting, this course features topics of vital importance to the new District Attorney.
“Special topics” courses are presented each year on a wide variety of issues. Some of the seminars recently presented include: Prosecuting Homicide Cases; Search and Seizure for Law Enforcement; Advanced Techniques in Narcotics for Law Enforcement; Trial Advocacy Skills; Drug and Alcohol Prosecutions; and Criminal Law Update.
In 1992, the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Institute was certified by the Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Board as an accredited CLE provider.
The Institute is a tax exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.