The AATA has identified Vertical Prosecution as a vital component of a comprehensive vehicle theft reduction strategy for Arizona. Vertical Prosecution refers to the concept of utilizing dedicated, specially trained deputy county attorneys to address all phases of the criminal justice process regarding vehicle theft and related crimes from the investigative phase through sentencing. Vertical Prosecution has been highly successful in dealing with other criminal activities such as, homicide, narcotics, organized crime, sexual assault and crimes against children.
Current Vertical Prosecution grant funding is for eight prosecutors in six counties (Maricopa, Pima, Pinal, Santa Cruz, La Paz and Mohave). In 2016 more than 1,500 auto theft charges were filed and nearly $1 million ordered in restitution for victims.
In FY’17, the AATA’s Vertical Prosecution Programs remained the agency’s second largest annual grant program. Grant funded prosecutors and support staff are currently located in. Future plans include expanding the Vertical Prosecution program to the remaining Arizona's counties.