'Did You Know...?' Newsletter
Issue 8, 2017
Welcome to the final edition of our 'Did You Know...?' newsletter for 2017. 

DA O'Malley Wishes You a Safe and
Happy New Year
A message from District Attorney Nancy O'Malley in honor of the New Year:

I want you and your family to be safe on the roads this holiday season. Already, far too many precious lives have been lost due to drinking and driving. If you have been drinking, arrange for a designated driver or call for a ride. Be smart before it’s too late:  Don’t Drink and Drive. Please catch public transport, call a cab, hail a Lyft or Uber, or call a sober friend to come and pick you up. AAA of Northern California is also offering free rides home between 6pm on December 31st and 6am January 1.

A Quick Look Back on 2017

As 2017 comes to a close, I am proud to have served another year as your District Attorney, working alongside our talented and incredibly dedicated staff. 

This year, we ensured that justice was served on behalf of victims of crime and strove to make our communities safer. Our staff handled a very heavy workload, reviewing thousands of cases referred to our branch offices for charging, handling a huge number of legal motions, and  successfully tried to verdict felony and misdemeanor jury trials. I would like to publicly acknowledge my staff for their tireless dedication and commitment to serving victims of crime and the general public with honor and integrity.

Some highlights of 2017 include my office being part of expanding the county's services in the Tri-Valley region with the completion of the new East County Hall of Justice in Dublin. I was vocal in the stand against hate-driven speech and violence in our communities, and spoke out against the SHARE Act, proposed federal legislation that would eliminate the safeguards that prevent violent offenders from obtaining gun silencers. Both myself and my staff were instrumental in establishing the new Justice Restoration Project in Alameda County. It is a new program that unites law enforcement, government agencies, and community partners to help young people involved in the criminal justice system to help break the cycle of crime and incarceration.
Helping Victims

Our staff, in particular our Victim-Witness Assistance Division, has been incredibly active in 2017. We have served over 16,800 crime victims over the course of the year, providing them valuable support and information, as well as connecting them with services they require.

Our HEAT Unit ran numerous events during Human Trafficking Awareness Month in January, including leading the Red Sand Project at schools and community events. In April, our Victim-Witness staff participated in National Crime Victims Rights Week. They met people from all different communities around our great county, and participated in a variety of events, such as manning the water stations at the Oakland Running Festival, and hosting listening forums to hear victims' stories. In June, staff in our Elder Abuse Unit participated in Elder Abuse Awareness Month and gave a series of talks about how to spot a scam and how to advocate for yourself and your elderly/dependent loved ones.
In 2017, the Alameda County Family Justice Center served almost 14,000 clients at their site. The center's KidZone helped instill a sense of empowerment and freedom in over 1,500 children, the STEP-UP women's empowerment program graduated over 100 students and the advanced 6-month job training program STEP-UP 2 WORK gave 45 women hands-on training to help them gain well-paid and flexible employment.

In October, we recognized Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and the Alameda County Family Justice Center and their community partners hosted various events to raise awareness of DV in our community. The month culminated with the annual Day of Remembrance. Family and friends of those killed as a result of domestic violence honored their memories by hearing their names read out and then roses were placed on the table of photos.

My staff and I have spoken at many events in 2017, appeared on numerous panels, as well as lead in-depth training for attorneys and first responders around the state. We have volunteered at the Alameda County Food Bank, bagging 5500 pounds of carrots to help the 1 in 5 members of our community who rely on the Food Bank to help them survive. Our National Night Out team visited over 30 local events to engage with our community members and share information about how we serve them. We also participated in many other events such as Labor Week, Solano Stroll, and World Refugee Day, and supported the County's Blood Drive.
As part of our Speakers Bureau, myself and my staff spoke to community groups, schools, professional associations and non-profit organizations to share more about what we do and provide them with more detailed information about the topics in which they were interested. Our Elder Abuse Unit gave numerous Senior Safety presentations throughout the year on how to help seniors identify scams. Our junior DDAs stepped up to the plate the help the 8th Grade Debate team from Frick Middle School in Oakland prepare for the State Championships.
We have not shied away from engaging in the hard conversations with our community members, and the Barber Shop Forums have provided a valuable opportunity for us to engage with and talk about the issues that are affecting the community and discuss ways in which we can work together to solve them. 
Consumer and Environmental Violations

2017 was also a year to highlight for our innovative Consumer, Environmental and Worker Protection Division. Our skillful attorneys, inspectors, and administrative staff helped in many ways to protect our environment, and fight for the rights of consumers and workers.

Some of the highlights for CEPD involved in major settlements stemming from unlawfully disposal of large volumes of hazardous waste with DIRECTV and Big Lots, and a consumer settlement with Walmart over 'greenwashing' claims.
Legislative Efforts

The DA's Office was out in front in Sacramento, helping to make the changes we wish to see in our community and beyond. In late 2017, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law three bills that the Alameda County District Attorney's Office sponsored:

AB 41 DNA Evidence Bill was authored by Assemblymember David Chiu, and it requires law enforcement agencies to annually report data on the collection and testing of sexual assault evidence kits to the California Department of Justice. AB 41 provides greater transparency for survivors and policy makers. Read more about the bill...

SB 384 Sex Offender Registry Reform Bill was authored by Senator Scott Wiener. This bill amends the current law that requires all sex offenders to register for life and replaces it with a tiered system of registry. A diverse coalition came together to support this bill, including law enforcement but also Equality California, ACLU, and CALCASA. Read more about the bill...

AB 993 Examination of Victim of Sex Crimes Bill was authored by Assemblymember Catharine Baker. This bill authorizes the prosecution to apply for an order that a victim’s testimony at the preliminary hearing be video recorded and preserved when the defendant has been charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child under 14 years of age or charged with sexual intercourse, sodomy, sexual penetration, or oral copulation with a child under 10 years of age.

We would like to thank Assemblymember Chiu, Assemblymember Baker, and Senator Wiener, as well as other legislators we worked with this year, for their leadership on these issues. For further information about our legislative efforts, please visit our Legislation page.
Youth Empowerment

In the seven years since I started the District Attorney's Justice Academy (DAJA), we have graduated over 350 students from the program. DAJA is a six-month learning and working experience for high school students (ages 16 and up) that teaches about the many facets of the justice system while encouraging critical thought and civic engagement.

DAJA students attend twice monthly seminars in the spring, led by experts in the field. These meetings encourage students to think critically and analytically, research, ask questions, and problem-solve. During the summer, the DAJA students are placed in a paid internship with a government agency, non-profit organization, office of an elected official, or private law office. At the conclusion of the program, the 75 students from the three cohorts (Tri-Valley, Eden, and North County) present a persuasive oral argument on a topic from the seminar series. This year, the groups spoke about topics including intellectual property, immigration, and affirmative consent.

Also over the summer, the DA's Office offered paid working opportunities for almost 25 interns as part of our commitment to youth engagement. Our interns worked in various units of our office, including the HEAT (Human Exploitation and Trafficking) Unit and Truancy Unit, as well as performing various other projects.

Our office also received numerous awards in 2017 and while we don't seek out the recognition, it is wonderful to be acknowledged for our hard work. Here are some of the awards we received in 2017:

I was incredibly proud to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Alliance for Hope International for my unwavering commitment to victims of crime, championing the Family Justice Center Model, developing innovative programs and training modules, and writing key pieces of legislation that protect victims of crime. I also received the Alemany Award from the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology for my commitment to serving the public for over 35 years.

The Restorative Justice Award from Berkeley-based SEEDS Community Resolution Center was awarded to myself, DDA Colleen Clark, and Victim-Witness Advocate Yuen Chiang for utilizing restorative justice practices to resolve a serious impaired driving case. The DA's Office was also fortunate to have two of our innovative programs -- HEAL (Health, Education, and Learning for Life) and STEP-UP (Survivor Training and Empowerment Program - Utilizing your Potential) women's empowerment program -- recognized with NACO awards from the National Association of Counties.
ACFJC Executive Director received two NACO Awards for the DA's Office
Public Awareness Campaigns

The DA's Office developed numerous public awareness campaigns throughout the year, focusing on issues that affect our community. To coincide with Human Trafficking Awareness Month, we released a series of billboards in English and Spanish to target the buyers of children and teens for sex. In October, we collaborated with non-profit Abolitionist Mom to help spread the word about how exploiters target vulnerable teens to lure them into relationships, and ultimately, forced prostitution.
We also focused our attention on gun safety in our community, and developed a campaign that focused on gun safety and the safe storage of firearms. At the beginning of the summer holidays, our office partnered with the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence to tell parents about the ASK (Asking Saves Kids) Gun Safety Campaign. These gun safety messages were also reinforced in our submission in the yearly county Stone Soup Challenge, to help raise much-needed food to help the Alameda County Community Food Bank over the the holiday period.
DA's Stone Soup Challenge submission
Enjoy the Holiday Season!

As we look toward 2018, our work continues to keep our neighborhoods safe and thriving.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a very Happy New Year for 2018. May it be a successful, productive, and safe.

Nancy O'Malley Signature
Do you have a question for the District Attorney?

If you would like to see a particular question answered in our next newsletter, please email us at  info@alcoda.org
Quick Links
Odyssey (Alameda County Courts Portal) : For information pertaining to specific cases. 

Criminal Docket Finder : Find out when the next court date is for a particular case. 

Inmate Locator : Find out the custody status of a person of interest.

Alameda County DA's Office website : View up-to-date news and information about the office at our website.

Alameda County Family Justice Center (ACFJC) website : The ACFJC is a 1-stop location that provides victims of crime with legal, health, and support services, and the opportunity for physical and psychological safety, recovery and well-being.

HEAT Watch : HEAT Watch is the anti-human trafficking program run by the DA's Office. It coordinates the response to help fight trafficking in the Bay Area and beyond. 

DA Speakers Bureau : We provide speakers for your next school or community meeting who come to you with decades of expertise about the law, the criminal justice system and how we at the DA's Office can help you if you have been the victim of a crime. 

Point of View : The well-known legal educational tool written and published by the DA's Office.