Undergraduate Honors Thesis


Importance of Trauma-Informed Prosecutorial Decisions Public Deposited

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    This research examines the prosecutorial decision-making process and whether or not trauma plays a role in this process. The research focuses on the factors that play a role in prosecutors’ decisions, and how trauma fits into these decisions. Current research suggests that there is a correlation between childhood trauma and criminal behavior, which serves as the foundation of this research and why it is important to understand the prosecutorial side of the criminal justice system. Because prosecutors have a great deal of discretion in criminal cases, they were the focus of this research. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with Boulder County District Attorneys discussing the prosecutorial decision-making process, including sentencing recommendations, plea deals, diversion programs, and how childhood trauma plays a role in these decisions. These interviews focused on the contributing factors to prosecutors’ decisions, and their opinions about trauma being taken into account in decisions regarding criminal cases. This research fills a gap in current literature regarding the prosecutorial process and examines the factors that go into prosecutors’ decisions with an emphasis on trauma.

Date Awarded
  • 2023-04-06
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Last Modified
  • 2023-04-18
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