Bonnie M. Dumanis
- Experienced Felony Prosecutor
- Innovative Leader
- Seasoned Law Enforcement Manager
District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis has earned a national reputation as a law enforcement leader and innovator. She took office in 2003 and is the first woman to serve as District Attorney for San Diego County.
With public safety as her top priority, her office has maintained a 94 percent conviction rate. At the same time, DA Dumanis has focused on crime prevention, stopping the revolving door to prison, and helping victims. She has also increased transparency and public access to the DA's Office.
Under DA Dumanis' direction, the office helped write and pass California's Proposition 83, known as Jessica's Law. This law tightens restrictions on child molesters and sexually-violent predators, making California one of the toughest states in the nation in dealing with these offenders. Her office is also leading California in implementing a prisoner reform program (SB 618), which provides non-violent offenders with job training, treatment, and wrap around services to keep them from returning to a life of crime once they are released from prison.
DA Dumanis initiated a major reorganization of the District Attorney's Office structure that had not seen change for more than three decades. Under her leadership, the office established a Cold Case Homicide Division and Sex Crimes and Stalking Division. She also began a program encouraging minorities to consider careers in criminal justice and now, diversity among the DA Office's employees essentially mirrors that of the county's population. Leading an office of about 1,000 employees, including some 300 attorneys and more than 130 investigators, DA Dumanis is committed to promotions based on merit and performance and has implemented effective employee training and recognition programs.
DA Dumanis began her legal career in the San Diego District Attorney's office as a junior clerk typist. She studied law at night and received her Juris Doctorate degree from Thomas Jefferson School of Law in 1976. DA Dumanis served as a prosecutor for 12 years under former District Attorney Ed Miller.
In 1994, DA Dumanis was elected to the Municipal Court. She served in this capacity for the next four years using her strength in organizational leadership to create one of the first Drug Courts in San Diego, which has since been recognized as a national model.
In 1998, DA Dumanis was elected to the San Diego Superior Court. During her tenure on the bench, DA Dumanis again was the driving force behind another innovative program called Domestic Violence Court. This project has been proven to reduce recidivism among perpetrators. Her ideas about stressing accountability and treatment for the batterers have received statewide recognition. Throughout her career, DA Dumanis has been recognized as a team builder and organizational strategist.
In addition to her dedication to the criminal justice system, DA Dumanis has never wavered in her support of community and civic organizations. She serves on the California State Bar Association Board of Governors, is President of the California District Attorneys Association, on the board of the National District Attorneys Association, is a Commissioner for California Peace Officers Standards and Training, a member of the San Diego County Police Chiefs and Sheriff's Association, an Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association Member, a past president of the Lawyers Club of San Diego, served on the Board of Directors of the San Diego Bar Association and taught ethics at the University Of San Diego School Of Law.
DA Dumanis has also been recognized by the YWCA Tribute to Women Award, the California Women in Government Law and Justice Award and the Salvation Army Women's Auxiliary Women of Dedication Award.
Even though she is the top law enforcement official in San Diego County, Dumanis has never forgotten her first job in DA's office and keeps a plaque in her office that reads, "The clerk helping in your division today may be your boss tomorrow."