Featured Publication

Image In this study, we investigate path dependence and barriers to the acceptance and implementation of reform-minded prosecution, which focuses on reducing unnecessary incarceration, promoting fairness, engaging with the community, and improving accountability in the criminal justice system. Method: Using semistructured interviews with 47 prosecutors in two Florida jurisdictions, both with newly elected state attorneys, we explore reform-minded prosecution priorities and barriers to their effective implementation. Results: Findings suggest that though reform-minded priorities are present in the study prosecutor’s offices, existing prosecutorial norms, case-focused decision-making, policy ambiguities, and communication challenges serve as barriers to their effective implementation. Conclusions: The study highlights the role that line agents play in determining the success of reform-minded prosecution. It also identifies key barriers to reform that reform-minded prosecutors must overcome if they are to achieve meaningful changes toward greater effectiveness, transparency, and impartiality in prosecution.