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Paralegals and the Administration of Justice Innovative Approaches and Recommendations

NCJ Number
Police Journal Volume: 60 Issue: 2 Dated: (April-June 1987) Pages: 149-160
C P Nemeth
Date Published
12 pages
Paralegals could perform functions related to police work, public defender responsibilities, trial preparation, and corrections.
Paralegals could be employed by police departments to assist in the legal interpretation of evidence and lack of evidence and in the formal documentation of a case. In a public defender's office, a paralegal could assist in case screening, the management of preparation for bail hearings, liaison with detained defendants, pretrial factfinding, and posttrial activities. In a prosecutor's office a paralegal could help with victim services, case management, and documentation. Whether working for defense or prosecution, paralegals can be instrumental in prepraring a case for trial and in providing support services during the trial, notably in the areas of witness management, jury selection, and evidence management. In the corrections area, paralegals can help ensure that corrections agencies are providing those legal services to inmates mandated in court decisions. The paralegal may provide inhouse paralegal training for inmates, paralegal assistance to inmates, and support services for postconviction proceedings. 26 references.