District Attorney Jackie Lacey has spent most of her
professional life as a prosecutor, manager and executive in the Los
Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. On
Dec. 3, 2012, she
was sworn in as the 42nd District Attorney.
Her top priority is keeping the streets of
Los Angeles County
safe from violent and dangerous criminals. She is committed to
safeguarding our children from human sex traffickers, our seniors
from financial elder abuse and our communities from environmental
crimes that threaten our health and our livelihood.
District Attorney Lacey has worked with business leaders on
how best to protect consumers from computer network intrusions that
jeopardize our bank accounts and credit ratings. She also remains
committed to prosecuting government officials who violate the
A Los Angeles native and graduate of the University of
Southern California Law School, District Attorney Lacey leads a
staff of roughly 1,000 lawyers, nearly 300 investigators and about
800 support staff employees. Her office prosecuted more than 71,000
felonies and nearly 112,000 misdemeanors in 2014.
She is the first woman and first African-American to serve as
Los Angeles County District Attorney since the office was
established in 1850.
District Attorney Lacey created the Human Trafficking Unit
that focuses on putting pimps behind bars and helping their
victims. In recent years, gang members have been responsible for the
proliferation of underage prostitution in
Los Angeles County
– a criminal enterprise that can be more lucrative than the sales of
drugs or guns.
She launched the Elder Financial Abuse Outreach Campaign to
alert seniors about scams that target them and their assets. The
effort was honored in 2014 with the Los Angeles County Quality and
Productivity Commission’s Top Ten Award.
That same year, District Attorney Lacey established the
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and
Environmental Crimes Rollout Team, which dispatches specially
trained prosecutors and investigators to the scene of environmental
threats and industrial accidents involving occupational deaths or
As founder and chair of the Los Angeles County Criminal
Justice Mental Health Project, District Attorney Lacey is leading a
multidisciplinary effort to develop a comprehensive mental health
diversion program. An estimated 17 percent of the inmates in county
jails are mentally ill. They often are unable to assist in their
legal defense because of mental illness, resulting in longer – and
more costly – incarceration and delayed justice.
District Attorney Lacey also has worked to reduce
overcrowding in jails and prisons. She has encouraged her
prosecutors to route nonviolent offenders into alternative
sentencing courts, in which defendants agree to participate in
evidence-based treatment programs instead of incarceration. These
defendants are less likely to re-offend than those in state prison.
She is actively involved in the implementation of legislative
and voter action, such as the Public Safety Realignment Act and the
Three Strikes Resentencing Law. She successfully sought legislative
reforms, including passage of a new law that gives counties a
stronger voice when judges are considering the conditional release
of sexually violent predators.
District Attorney Lacey joined the office in 1986. She won
national attention for her successful prosecution of the county's
first race-based hate crime murder.
She is active in her profession. District Attorney Lacey is a
member of the National District Attorneys Association, the
California District Attorneys Association and the National Black
Prosecutors Association. She serves on the boards of the Los Angeles
County Prosecutors Association and the Peace Officers Association
of Los Angeles County.
District Attorney Lacey has received many honors, including
the Trailblazer Award from the National Black Prosecutors
Association; the Benito Juarez Attorney of the Year Award from the
Mexican American Bar Association; the Distinguished Professional in
Public Service Award from the University of California, Irvine; the
Silver Achievement Award from the YWCA of Greater Los Angeles; and
the Ernestine Stahlhut Award from the Women Lawyers Association of
For five years, District Attorney Lacey dedicated one lunch
hour a week to teaching fifth-graders at
Elementary School in Boyle Heights about the criminal justice
system. As District Attorney, she has led an effort to share Project
LEAD, the office’s law-related education program, with other
prosecutorial agencies across the country.
A graduate of the
California, Irvine, and Dorsey High School, District Attorney Lacey
began her legal career as an associate in a small civil law firm.
She then became a trial deputy in the Santa Monica City Attorney’s
District Attorney Lacey and her husband, David, have two
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13 Feb 2015