Lifer Hearing Unit
When a criminal goes to state prison, they are given a date for possible release on parole. The DA's Lifer Unit keeps an eye on that date and it exists for two reasons, Deputy District Attorney Richard Sachs explains in this video.
Convicted defendants sentenced to indeterminate prison terms of life with the possibility of parole have a
right to a parole hearing. These inmates will not be released unless parole is granted at the hearing. The
Lifer Hearing Unit was formed in 1995 to ensure that victims of violent crime are given a chance to be heard
at these proceedings, and to help prevent improvident grants of parole.
The Lifer Hearing Unit staff assists victims and next of kin of life-top crimes with appearing at parole hearings, both at the institution, and via video or audio conference from their office in the San Diego Hall of Justice, in order to relate victim impact statements to the parole board. The Lifer Hearing Unit vigorously argues and represents the state's and victim's position at parole hearings. In accomplishing their mission, the Lifer Hearing Unit endeavors to ensure that (1) victims and next of kin of violent crimes are treated with dignity and respect and have an opportunity to weigh-in, and (2) an inmate who deserves to stay in prison and represents an unreasonable risk of harm to the community is not released upon an improvident grant of parole. Any person interested in, or affected by, parole hearings should contact the Lifer Hearing at (619) 531-4115, or via email at DALiferHearingUnit@sdcda.org.