Software Notifies Victims and Offenders of Critical Safety Information After a Domestic Violence Arrest (2021)

San Diego County District Attorney’s Office (San Diego, CA)

Population: 3,343,360 | Number of Full-Time Prosecutors: 324 | Contact Information

The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office (SDCDA) is using specialized software to notify domestic violence victims of case updates through a series of texts that provide the name and telephone number of the assigned deputy district attorney; the decision on whether to proceed with the case; a variety of ways to obtain victim services; and, links to a supporting website with FAQs and local resources. Funded by an original grant from Innovative Prosecution Solutions, the software sent text message warnings to domestic violence suspects in cases when charges could not be filed.

These texts alerted them to the consequences of committing future domestic violence offenses. The content of these messages was developed from best practices research and input from victim advocates, the defense bar, and county prosecutors. The SDCDA also conducted research on the contribution of BWC footage to prosecutions and worked on the development of a risk assessment tool with the goal of identifying offenders who are more likely to commit repeat offenses. A final report is forthcoming.