SPECIAL VICTIMS K-9 UNIT
Sometimes just being in the physical courtroom itself can be stressful for kids. And then when you factor in the content of what they may have to discuss in their testimony, overall, it can be a traumatic experience. Asking a child to recall horrific details in a courtroom full of strangers, with his or her abuser staring from across the room, is a painful and sometimes embarrassing situation.
Our main goal is to greatly reduce the understandable fears that a child has about entering the courtroom. Doing so is beneficial to everybody involved because when the child is calm and feeling more confident, it is likely that we can more effectively obtain justice.
As District Attorney I created our Special Victims K-9 Unit (SVK9U), which will ultimately help us better serve our most vulnerable victims, our children. Say hello to our two facility dogs, Lupe and Dozer (pictured above).
Gang Resistance Intervention Partnership (GRIP)
The Gang Reduction Intervention Partnership is taught by the school's security officers to second- and fifth-graders over a period of several weeks. Over the course of this time, instructors address the dangers of gangs. Since its inception approximately 4,000 students have graduated from the program.
Our curriculum which we created focuses on the dangers of gangs and drugs, positive choices and respect for others and property. The second and fifth grade courses are taught over a 5-week period once a week.
The program also has a parent component. We hold parent meeting once a month that incorporate several schools within the district where the classes are taught. We have speakers attend and provide various presentations during the meetings. Topics are selected to assist parents in combating gangs, violence, truancy, crime and other areas that affect their children.
IN THE NEWS: These graduates got GRIP on life
Camp Good Grief
Camp Good Grief: Special Victims Program is a three-day grief camp for children and teens whose lives have been shattered due to an act of murder or suicide.
Our office, in partnership with Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital, offers this unique three day camp that provides a relaxed, supportive and safe environment for children to enjoy the typical activities of a summer camp, as well as to have opportunities to work with professionals to share their feelings related to their loss, learn new ways to cope, and interact with other children and teens in an atmosphere of love and acceptance.
This year we will be teaching our campers the game of golf and how to use the sport as an aid in their healing process. Watch the following trailer:
Let's End Truancy (LET)
Fight Crime: Invest in Kids
The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office takes truancy very seriously. We know that it is often the “gateway” to juvenile delinquency and, later, more serious adult crime. Making sure that kids go to school and stay in school is very important to me for two reasons.
One is because as District Attorney of San Bernardino County I want kids to stay out of trouble and out of the court system. The best way to do this is by making sure kids stay in school. The second reason is that, since I served seven years on the Redlands’ School Board, I know how important a good education is to a child’s future. Children are our most important resource.
As a proud parent and grandparent, I know that it’s up to us as adults to see that our children get the best education available. Students, it’s up to you to stay in school so that you are ready to lead us into the future.
Fight Crime: Invest in Kids is a national crime prevention organization comprised of more than 5,000 police chiefs, sheriffs, prosecutors, state attorneys general and violence survivors.
I have been a member since 2003 and currently serves on the organization’s Executive Committee. As a research-based organization, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids advocates for programs proven most effective in preventing crime, reducing child abuse and neglect, and helping get troubled kids back on track.
Despite decades of growing research proving what works, inadequate investments leave millions of children needlessly at risk of becoming delinquent teens and violent adults while putting every American at greater risk of becoming a victim of crime.
IN THE NEWS: Home visiting matters every minute— Congress must act (Fight Crime: Invest in Kids leaders from across the country join to encourage Congress to support parental engagement by reauthorizing MIECHV)
IN THE NEWS: Preschool can help fight crime