Community Outreach & Engagement
The Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office is dedicated to reaching out to community members in our county outside of the courtroom. Engaging with students, teachers, parents, and other law enforcement agencies along with our community based organizations is vital to preventing violence and creating a safety community.
Resources for Parents
Our office understands the importance of educating local residents on the great work we do. We organize a Community Academy, aimed at strengthening community relations and providing residents a better understanding of our criminal justice system. The academy is free and open to residents who live or work in Contra Costa County. Individuals must complete an application and background check when they apply. Our Office is accepting applications for the Fall 2021 class - deadline is September 24 to apply. Please download the application and submit to us via email.
The Community Academy helps underscore our office’s commitment to engaging and educating residents of Contra Costa County. Admitted applicants can expect to learn how cases are filed, the different types of crimes our office investigates and prosecutes, and the work we do not only prosecuting cases but also the community outreach efforts underway to prevent crime and to support children, parents, and crime victims. For more information or questions please email DA-CommunityAcademy@contracostada.org.
Parent Education and Support
Parent education and support is critical in ensuring the success and safety of our youth. We partner with a variety of agencies and nonprofit organizations to provide resources to parents in our community. Throughout the county, we present at parent meetings on topics including Teen Substance Misuse, Cyber Safety, Firearm Safety, and Bullying. Not only do we provide information, but also, we connect families with services and resources to address these issues.
Supporting Parents of Chronically Absent Children
In Contra Costa County, our District Attorney's Office partners with the Superior Court, non-profit organizations and our County Mental Health Department to support and educate, not punish, parents of chronically absent children. Through our Parent Truancy Calendar, we compel parents of truant elementary and middle school students to attend court.
At these proceedings, we place great emphasis on the parents' legal obligation to ensure that their young children attend school on a daily basis; however, the primary goal is to provide families and students with the supports that they need to be successful. Parents are often asked to attend parenting classes, family counseling and/or other wrap around service programs. This holistic approach educates parents about the importance of school attendance for their children's future and addresses the barriers that have led to their children's chronic absenteeism.
Campus Safety and Online Safety for Kids
Our Office is a member of the Silicon Valley Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force to investigate and prosecute crimes against children. As part of our work with the Task Force, we have an outreach program to promote safe behavior for students. We visit local schools and college campuses to address campus safety, sexual assault awareness and online safety for kids. Our presentations to schools and parents are free. These discussions review tools to prevent campus sexual assaults and online exploitation. Parents, educators and students attend our presentations throughout Contra Costa County. To learn more or schedule a presentation please call 925-957-8603.
Inspiring Our Teens to Pursue Their Academic Dreams
We are committed to reaching out to our teens and encouraging them to graduate high school and maximize their academic potential. In partnership with the Junior Achievement of Northern California ("JA") organization, we have developed several programs to prepare high school students for their future. At our Reverse Job Shadow Day, we partner with the Public Defender's Office, California Highway Patrol, local police agencies and fire departments to engage students in a variety of activities that introduce them to career opportunities. We also answer their questions about important topics such as immigration, consequences for driving under the influence and the legal ramifications of turning 18.
In partnership with JA and the California Attorney General's Office, we also take high school students on a tour of our Richmond Crime Lab and introduce them to a judge presiding over matters at the Richmond Superior Court. Students are then given an opportunity to observe court proceedings and participate in a discussion about the criminal justice system.
Preventing Violence Through Youth Education
Preventing crime, not just prosecuting it, is a top priority for our District Attorney. In partnership with local police agencies, County Probation and schools throughout the county, we present an anti-violence curriculum to elementary and middle school students. Topics are presented in a series of six consecutive, weekly sessions and address a variety of issues including: Effects of Violence on the Community; Gun Violence; Gang Violence; Family and Dating Violence; Cyber Safety; Bullying; and Human Trafficking. The presenters use real-life experiences and role-playing activities to engage students.