Citizens' Academy Overview

The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, in partnership with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, is once again offering its popular Citizens’ Academy, a behind-the-scenes look at the criminal justice system.

Although the program is offered at no cost, applicants must pass a background check and be willing to commit to attend a ten-week curriculum on one evening each week.

Participants who are selected from this competitive application process will have the unique opportunity to hear directly from subject matter experts in local law enforcement. A diverse program of topics ranges from high-profile homicides to gang prosecutions. Highlights include special access to the Sheriff’s Department weapons simulator exercise.


Applications are not being accepted at the moment.

The application period for the Citizens’ Academy 2017 will begin Monday, July 3, 2017. You will be able to access the application on that date. The application must be submitted by Sunday, August 6, 2017.

If you would like to be notified via email once the application period begins, please send your name and email to

Due to the presentation of sensitive materials, prospective students must be 18 years or older and undergo a background check before being accepted to the academy.

Ten-Week Commitment

The academy will meet on Wednesday evenings from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., starting September 6, 2017 through November 8, 2017.

This well-received program now has far more applicants than we can accommodate. Committed and regular attendance is imperative.

The academy will be held at the University of San Diego, Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice, located at 5998 Alcala Park, San Diego, CA 92110.

Please take a look at our flyer for dates*.

Praise from those who attended previous Citizens’ Academies remains strong and continues to grow. Here’s what a few of them wrote:

“If you want to learn more about how the District Attorney’s Office – and all branches of government – works in San Diego County, take this class. The Citizens’ Academy is a great way to learn how your government works and how your tax dollars are spent.” Paul Krueger, Senior Producer, NBC 7 San Diego

“Attending [the] Citizens’ Academy has given me a different perspective on the San Diego justice system. I have much respect for the individuals who serve San Diego and make sure its citizens are safe.” Maryanne N., Director at a biopharmaceutical company

“No matter your professional background, the Citizens’ Academy is interesting, relevant, and informative. A wonderful program that showcases the professionalism, collaboration, and expertise of the San Diego District Attorney’s Office.” Sarah, Program Coordinator at a local non-profit

“Absolutely worth the time. I looked forward to every speaker and have enthusiastically shared everything I’ve learned with family, friends and my students.” Mary, High School Teacher



Contact Information

Office: 619-531-4402

*Dates and deadlines subject to change.