Community Partnership: "We advocate and support the building of strong and viable partnerships with law enforcement, all members of the criminal justice systems and the community we serve for the purpose of achieving the highest level of public safety for our citizens."
The Community Programs Team turns this value statement into action. The initiatives listed below demonstrate our collective commitment to public service and crime prevention.
The San Diego County District Attorney’s Youth Advisory Board (YAB) was created in 2008 to tackle the issues affecting San Diego youth the most. The board began at Lincoln High School, following the death of two promising teens in the Lincoln Park Community. YAB not only identifies problems affecting students, but also challenges students to find solutions through close mentorship and mutual advising. The hard work and dedication of YAB students have resulted in the production of the following campaigns:
In 2009, YAB produced the 4 or 40 campaign featuring a film with a positive message focused on their peers. The message of "4 or 40: The Choice is Yours" demonstrates how the choices students make in their four years in high school will impact the next forty years of their lives. The Emmy Award winning film is presented in classrooms and youth organizations across the country.
After the success of the 4 or 40 campaign, the San Diego County District Attorney's Youth Advisory Board expanded to include Lincoln High School, Mira Mesa High School, and Scripps Ranch High School. Each board came up with very unique campaigns and found tech savvy ways to best convey their message.
Lincoln High School concluded that one major issue in their community and school was maintaining relationships that consisted of mutual respect and individuals taking responsibility for their words and actions. Through their sophisticated use of animated word play, they encourage their peers and community members to show one another respect and naturally, it will be returned and create a unified and progressive community.
Mira Mesa High School saw that their diverse student population was often overwhelmed with the conflicts that were brought upon by students’ differences. The board decided that despite physical, mental, or spiritual differences, one thing everyone has in common is that they all have an obstacle they must overcome. Through their modern-day, high tech message, they encourage students to identify their own fights, but also respect that of others.
Scripps Ranch High School students found themselves battling with pressures to be a typical college bound student, but they realized that not everyone was destined to indulge themselves in the world of academia. Instead, with their intricate use of technology they encourage students to redefine success so that they pursue the things they value the most and find happiness.
Inter-Faith Advisory Board
The DA’s Inter-faith Advisory Board was formed several years ago as a way of maintaining an open dialogue among the various San Diego faith-based communities. Each month, leaders from a variety of religious organizations meet at the District Attorney's Office where they voice community concerns and work on solution-oriented initiatives to address the needs they identify as public safety issues.
AmeriCorps VISTA is a national service program designed to fight poverty. President John F. Kennedy originated the idea for VISTA, which was founded as Volunteers in Service to America. Since 2006, The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office has hosted AmeriCorps VISTA members. VISTA members are passionate and committed to their mission to bring individuals and communities out of poverty. Members make a year-long, full-time commitment to serve on a specific project at a nonprofit organization or public agency. They focus their efforts to capacity building and empowering low-income communities.
Veterans Empowerment Program
The Community Programs Team has two AmeriCorps VISTAS specifically dedicated to the San Diego District Attorney’s Office’s role in veteran affairs. As one of the largest military cities in the nation, San Diego has the second largest veteran population in the state. The DA’s office is committed to empowering our veteran community, providing them with all the proper and best-fit resources to successfully re-enter society, be it from deployment or incarceration. The VISTAs collaborate with veterans-specific service providers and organizations in order to create the most comprehensive and seamless transition process for any and all military members and veterans. We capacity build with our community partners to connect veterans and military families to the resources they need, striving every day to create a pathways out of poverty and a life of opportunities and stability to those who have served our country.
Working with our AmeriCorps VISTA partners, the team assembled a prevention education toolkit designed to promote self-esteem, develop life skills, and inspire positive motivation in young girls. The Girls Only! Toolkit is requested by organizations and for individual use nationwide.
San Diego County is the first and only county authorized to create a multiagency plan and develop policies and programs to educate and rehabilitate nonviolent felony offenders. With the passage of Senate Bill 618, we created a comprehensive multiagency collaboration designed to assist, educate, treat addictions, and transition parolees into the community.
Community Programs Director