San Joaquin County residents will now get a comprehensive look at the types of crimes that work their way through the criminal justice system.
On Monday, the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office announced the release of the agency’s first-ever public data report, pulling the cover back not only on the types of cases that get prosecuted but all of those that are referred to the agency for consideration.
The move is a continuation of a series of reforms and attempts at transparency by Verber Salazar and allows residents a glimpse into the raw data and illustrates the impact of crime in the wider community.
The report can be found by visiting the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s office website at www.sjgov.org/da.
“Upon entering office in 2015, I made tracking data a priority,” District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar said in a statement. “I am proud to share this data report with the community. There has been a national call for reform and sharing information with the public. It is important for criminal justice agencies while strengthening public trust.
“My office will continue to follow the evidence and uphold the law in a fair and equitable manner. This data report reflects the high standards of my office, and I am grateful to each member of my team for their dedication to seeking justice.”
Key findings in the report include how the number of criminal cases referred by agencies dropped by 13 percent in 2020 but felonies made up a larger proportion than in previous years, and how the majority of the victims knew the defendant.
According to the report, 34 percent of victims of crime were in an intimate relationship with the defendant, and males accounted for 79 percent of all defendants in 2020 while 59 percent of victims were female.
Verber Salazar has been a vocal advocate for criminal justice reforms, from refusing to accept donations from police unions whose officers she may have to investigate to leaving the California District Attorneys Association to join the Prosecutor’s Alliance of California instead. She has also eschewed the hardline stance that has historically been attributed to those serving as the top law enforcement officer of the county.
While she ran unopposed in 2018, that does not appear likely that it will happen again next year when Verber Salazar — a Republican that has joined forces with Democratic prosecutors from the state’s more progressive areas in the Prosecutor’s Alliance — is up for reelection.
Former San Joaquin County Prosecutor Ron Freitas – who is currently a trustee on the Lodi Unified School District Board — has announced that he will seek the office and try to oust his former boss.
Freitas filed a lawsuit against his former boss back in 2019 claiming that he was forced out of his job after more than 30 years as a San Joaquin County prosecutor — serving for a stint as the second-in-command of the office. Verber Salazar categorically denied all of the claims that were made in the lawsuit, which her office released to the public.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 209.249.3544.