San Diego County District Attorney’s office has won three prestigious Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties (NACo) for prisoner reentry programming, collaboration with the City Attorney on a case management system, and production of a film encouraging youth to make good choices.
“I’m very proud that the innovative and dedicated work being done by our office is receiving national recognition,” DA Dumanis said. “These awards acknowledge the ways in which we are worker smarter while continuing to fulfill our mission of prosecution and crime prevention.”
The 2010 Achievement Awards presented to the District Attorney’s Office include:
District Attorney/City Attorney Prosecution System Collaboration Project
The San Diego County District Attorney’s and the San Diego City Attorney’s Offices successfully collaborated on a project to share usage of the District Attorney’s internally-developed criminal case management system. The mutual use of the same system to prosecute cases has benefitted both agencies in the sharing of case and defendant data, and has also resulted in a considerable cost savings alternative for the City Attorney over purchasing their own case management system. In addition, the project provided an opportunity for the District Attorney’s office to expand its outside-agency-access capabilities, which will set the stage for future connectivity plans to other justice partners such as law enforcement and the courts.
District Attorney’s “4 or 40” Film
“4 or 40: The Choice is Yours” is a short film created through a partnership between the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office and its Youth Advisory Board (YAB) at Lincoln High School. The board created the idea behind “4 or 40” and is using the film to educate local teenagers about the importance of choices in a crucial time in their lives. The film’s message: the choices you make during the four years of high school will affect the next 40 years of your life. The YAB began by creating a plot and script in conjunction with a local film production company and created a graphic brand attached to the film. The film began shooting with YAB serving as crew members and extras and premiered at Lincoln High School this past summer. The premiere brought attendees from public agencies, churches and local organizations all under one roof in support of the film and the “4 or 40” program. Since the premiere, YAB members and “4 or 40” staff presented the film for youth-related organizations and classrooms, bringing the film’s empowering message to students across the county.
San Diego County Prisoner Reentry Program
The SB 618 San Diego County Prisoner Reentry Program is a comprehensive, evidence based, multi-agency program designed to assist, educate, treat addictions and transition non-violent parolees from prison into the community. The program does not affect the length of an offender’s prison sentence. Rather, it takes advantage of the sentence to treat substance abuse issues, improve educational and vocational skills, and prepare both the offender and the community for the parolee’s successful reentry. The rehabilitation process begins at the time of the plea bargain and ends eighteen months after release from prison. SB 618 is intended to address the high rates of recidivism by providing an evidence-based plan for reintegration into the community. As a result, parole conditions are met, recidivism is reduced, and ultimately, public safety is improved. Led by San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, her office has joined with the Office of the Public Defender, Sheriff’s Department, Probation Department, San Diego Community, and California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to create the SB 618 program.
Begun in 1970, the annual Achievement Award Program is a non-competitive awards program that recognizes innovative county government programs. Awards are given in a number of program categories such as arts and historic preservation; children and youth; community and economic development; jails-corrections; county administration; emergency management; environmental protection; health and human services; libraries; parks and recreation; transportation; and volunteers.
The NACO awards will be presented at the 2010 Annual NACo Conference and Exposition in Washoe County, Nevada on Sunday, July 18.