On March 19th, O’Melveny & Meyers, LLP, generously hosted an evening with Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey. She spoke before an engaged audience and argued for the expansion of alternative sentencing courts in order to help address prison and jail overcrowding in California.
According to Lacey, alternative sentencing courts are a more compassionate and effective way to reduce the prison and jail populations while addressing the underlying causes of the criminal activity. These courts also cause a reduction in recidivism rates. Thank you to all who attended and participated in the spirited question and answer session that followed District Attorney Lacey’s presentation.
This event is the fourth in CWLC’s ongoing Distinguished Guest Speaker Series. Our next event features California Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye at Loyola Law School.
Jackie Lacey has spent most of her professional life as a prosecutor, manager and executive in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. She is the first woman and first African-American to serve as Los Angeles County District Attorney since the office was created in 1850.
A Los Angeles native and graduate of the University of Southern California Law School, Ms. Lacey joined the largest local proprietorial office in the nation in 1986 as a deputy district attorney. She worked her way through the ranks to become a front-line prosecutor.
While serving as a deputy district attorney, she prosecuted hundreds of serious criminal cases. Ms. Lacey was recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice in May 2000 for her successful prosecution of the county’s first race-based hate crime murder and for participating on the Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee.
In 2000, Ms. Lacey took on management and executive roles in the District Attorney’s Office including reviewing nearly every major case the office prosecuted, serving on the office’s special circumstance committee that reviews death penalty eligible cases and making high-level policy decisions affecting the pursuit of justice and the management of the office. In 2011, she was named chief deputy district attorney to consider federal, state and local legislation to determine the impact on the county’s criminal justice system.
Ms. Lacey has overseen the development of several groundbreaking crime-fighting initiatives within the office. They include the nation’s first Animal Cruelty Prosecution Program, the Graffiti Prosecution Program and the Project Safe Neighborhoods Gun Prosecution Program. She was key in the creation of alternative sentencing courts to deal with specific nonviolent offenders including the Los Angeles County Veterans Court, the Los Angeles County Women’s Reentry Court and the Los Angeles County Co-Occurring Disorders Court.
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