Programs

Programs Division

Community Justice Programs
Community Justice Programs provided by the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office is a collaborative process that engages those harmed by crime and delivers justice by addressing the unique needs of each party affected by a crime. The programs will give a voice to victims, communities, and offenders by providing understanding and encouraging the healing process. The community justice programs operated by the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office moves away from a one-size-fits-all justice system to one in which communities help develop their own solutions to crime, based on local needs. The programs seek to build relationships that strengthen community. The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office understands that great strides toward a better justice system can be made when there is an understanding of crime, when communities work together, and when the needs of those harmed are met.


Adult Diversion
The Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI) provides defendants, generally first-time offenders, with opportunities for alternatives to the traditional criminal justice process of ordinary prosecution. PTI seeks to render early rehabilitative services, when such services can reasonably be expected to deter future criminal behavior. The PTI program is based on a rehabilitative model that recognizes that there may be an apparent causal connection between the offense charged and the rehabilitative needs of a defendant. Further, the rehabilitative model emphasizes that social, cultural, and economic conditions often result in a defendant's decision to commit crime.


Juvenile Diversion Programs
The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office in conjunction with the Juvenile court of Fulton County will provide certain juvenile offenders and their families’ alternatives to the juvenile court system. The programs that will be offered will be based on the widely accepted belief that not all cases are best handled through formal delinquency complaints and court hearings. The Juvenile Diversion programs will provide nonviolent offenders the opportunity to resolve their matters within the community without being prosecuted through the traditional court process.


Community Court Watch
Citizens’ Courtwatch is a community engagement and court monitoring program comprised of citizens and volunteers who observe and evaluate the justice system and outcomes for a variety of cases that impact the community. This program serves as a reminder to courtroom personnel that the public is interested in what happens in the courtroom and will hold the justice system and themselves accountable for the safety of their community.

CourtWatchers are encouraged to attend court proceedings and, when deemed appropriate by the Court, offer perspective regarding the impact a defendant’s criminal activity has on a community.

Through the year, the District Attorney’s Office of Programs and Outreach will host a CourtWatch training program where citizens will have the opportunity to receive a crash-course education in the judicial process and felony case proceedings. The training sessions will be typically held at the Fulton County Justice Center Tower; however, mini-training sessions will be offered at rotating venues throughout the County during the year and are open to all Fulton County residents.


Intern Opportunities
The Office of the Fulton County District Attorney provides internship opportunities for deserving law and undergraduate students. Internships are available during the Fall and Spring semesters for academic credits. A limited number of summer internships are also available.

Student interns assist trial attorneys with the preparation of cases for trial and are given assignments that expose them to a wide range of prosecutorial functions including research and written memorandum, drafting of pre-trial motions, interviewing witnesses and investigations.

Participation in trials requires admission under the third-year practice act. Students may be assigned to projects in the Appellate, Juvenile and Administrative Divisions as well as the Felony Trial Division. In addition, seminars with local police officers, medical examiners, and other criminal justice service providers may be scheduled.

Interns work under the supervision of a Deputy District Attorney or designee. The Deputy or designee is in charge of student assignments and evaluation. Students are expected to meet the requirements of the Office’s internships and those of their respective schools.

Prior to acceptance, students are interviewed and must submit to a criminal background check.


Victim Witness
The mission of the Victim-Witness Assistance Program (VWAP) is to provide quality and compassionate assistance to victims and witnesses of crime in Fulton County who are involved in the criminal justice system at the Superior and Juvenile Court levels. To accomplish this mission, the Program is staffed by professional advocates, counselors and social workers who assist thousands of victims every year.

One of the main functions of VWAP is to ensure the District Attorney’s adherence to the Georgia Victims’ Bill of Rights. Enacted in 1995, legislation mandates State Prosecution Offices provide notification and other services to crime victims. Below is a summarization of services offered at no cost to victims of crime and their families by the Fulton County District Attorney’s Victim-Witness Assistance Program:

  • Information about the status of the case
  • Explanation of and information about the criminal justice system
  • Notification of upcoming hearings
  • Orientation to the courtroom setting and proceedings
  • Private waiting area prior to court appearance
  • An advocate to accompany victims to court and provide emotional support
  • Assistance with applications for financial compensation
  • Assistance with the preparation and delivery of Victim Impact Statements
  • Employer/school interventions to explain time missed due to required court appearances
  • Safety planning
  • Referrals to community agencies

 

Junior DA Program
The Junior District Attorney Program is a crime prevention and educational program designed to provide middle and high school students with an overview of the criminal justice system by allowing them to observe its actual operation. The goal of the program is to provide students with a basic understanding of the criminal justice system. Upon entry into the program, students are given a signature navy blazer and are asked to abide by the Junior DA creed. Junior DA activities include observing trial preparation, viewing courtroom proceedings, and educational field trips to the Georgia Supreme Court, the State Capitol and various law enforcement agencies. The program culminates in a graduation ceremony and reception where the students are pinned with a special DA badge which they proudly affix to their Junior DA blazers.