P R O G R A M S

Community Outreach Programs

The Imperial County District Attorney’s Office is committed to providing a safer community to the residents of the Imperial County. Our county is approximately 45,000 square miles and sets at the southern most point of the California. We experience a unique set of challenges and issues unlike those faced by our counterparts in Northern California.

We are committed to providing not only services related to the prosecution of crime and bringing justice to the victims of crime, but to reaching out to our community to make them better able to understand the unique challenges our office faces.

We have developed several community outreach programs:

  • Project Lead,
  • Drug Court, and
  • Career Day in our local schools.

We have adopted a proactive plan to enhance the experience of victims who must come to court to testify in sometimes difficult and complex jury trials.

Project LEAD

Project Lead 2013

With so many young people first become acquainted with the justice system as delinquents. With a more fundamental knowledge of right and wrong, the law, and the consequences for breaking the law, more young people would be equipped to make the right decisions in life. That is the basis of Project LEAD, a 20-week law-related program targeting fifth-graders throughout Imperial County.

Through Project LEAD, volunteer deputy district attorneys and district attorney investigators teach fifth-grade students about the law and help them recognize the social and legal consequences of criminal behavior.

The lessons consist of instruction on the criminal justice system and an analytical approach to solving student-acted hypotheticals involving drug use, gang involvement, theft, hate crimes, driving under the influence, truancy, graffiti, and other issues. The curriculum aims to instill positive values in students and help them develop self-esteem, conflict resolution skills, and the ability to resist peer pressure. The program culminates in a mock trial put on by the students.  Attached is a pamphlet to give parents a better understand of this program.

Policeman visits school
Pills

Drug Store Program

The Drug Store Program is annually put on by the Imperial County Sheriff’s Office, Probation Department, Imperial County District Attorney’s Office and other local law enforcement agencies to provide grade school students a better understanding of what happens to juveniles who become involved in the use, sale and distribution of controlled substances on school yards in the Imperial County.

Career Day

Our attorneys volunteer each year to do career day presentation at the local elementary, middle and high schools to give students a better understanding of what prosecutors do in the legal system.

Carreer Day
Distressed woman

Victim Witness Program

The Imperial County Victim Witness Assistance Program is operated through the Imperial County District Attorney’s Office. The Program has trained and experienced Victim Advocates to work with victims, witnesses and their families throughout and beyond the criminal justice process. Penal Code section 13835.5 authorizes the following services to be provided:

Mission Statement

The mission of the Victim-Witness Program of the Office of the District attorney is to support victims and witnesses with services that will help them cope with the aftermath of victimization and help make their participation in the system less difficult and burdensome. This program works closely with other local, state, and county offices to provide assistance to victims and their families.

Mandatory Services

  • Crisis Intervention
  • Emergency Assistance
  • Counseling Resource and Referral
  • Assistance in Filing a California Victim Compensation claim (see below)
  • Assistance in getting the victim’s property returned Orientation to the Criminal Justice System
  • Court Escort and Support
  • Case Status or Disposition Information
  • Notification to Family and Friends
  • Notification to Employer
  • Restitution Assistance

Optional Services

  • Creditor Intervention
  • Child Care Assistance
  • Witness Notification
  • Funeral Arrangement Assistance
  • Crime Prevention Information
  • Witness Protection Assistance
  • Temporary Restraining Order Information
  • Transportation Assistance
  • Employer Intervention

Contact Info

Imperial Valley Victim-Witness Program

940 West Main Street, Suite 102
El Centro, California 92243
(442) 265-1221

Domestic Violence

If you or someone you know is being abused

You may call the Woman Haven Hotline at 1-760-353-8530. The hotline is answered by trained counselors 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is bilingual, confidential and referrals may be provided for services in every region of the County. It offers information such as DV shelter bed availability, counseling referrals, batterer’s treatment information, and assistance with safety planning.  For more information, you can also download a copy of the District Attorney’s brochure on Domestic Violence.

If you are in immediate danger, call 9-1-1

You may also contact the Imperial County Family Justice Center located at the Center For Family Solutions, 727 West Main Street, El Centro, CA 92243, (760) 353-6922. The Family Justice Center is open Monday and Tuesday from 9:00 am to 1:00 am.

Domestic violence, also known as intimate partner violence (IPV), includes a pattern of abusive behaviors that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner.

California law refers to domestic violence as abuse committed against an adult or minor who is a spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant, or person with whom the suspect has had a child or is having or has had a dating or engagement relationship (PC 13700 (b)). “Abuse” means intentionally or recklessly causing or attempting to cause bodily injury, or placing another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to himself or herself, or another.

Victims of domestic violence can include women and men of any age, race, religion, social or economic status, education, or sexual orientation.

Domestic violence has many forms including physical aggression, sexual abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, stalking, or financial abuse. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, frighten, terrorize, injure or wound someone. It can happen to couples who are or were married, living together or who are dating, or who have ended relationships.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse includes physical contact that results in injury. For example: Hitting, punching, choking (strangulation), pushing, slapping, denial of needed medical care or other basic needs (food, housing, water, sleep). This may be by use of hand(s) or other weapons such as a firearm, knife, object (bat, book, lamp, shoe, plate, etc).

Emotional Abuse

Behavior that threatens, intimidates, undermines the victim’s self-worth or self-esteem, or controls the victim’s freedom. For example: Humiliation, controlling what you can or cannot do, deliberating making you feel diminished, isolating you from friends or family, denying you access to money or other basic resources, undermining yourself worth, threatens to harm or kill you, threatens or actual harms your children, pets or other family members, constant criticism, use of the children against you.

Economic Abuse

Economic abuse may be taking place if your partner controls your money and other economic resources. For example: Withholding money at will and forcing you to beg for the money, putting you on an “allowance,” preventing you from finishing your education or from gaining employment, intentionally misusing family resources.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse involves any situation in which force is used to compel you to engage in unwanted, unsafe, or degrading sexual activity against your will, whether or not the act is completed. For example: Non-consensual forced physical contact, unwanted touching, sexual kissing, wanting you to dress in a sexual way with which you are not comfortable, insulting you in sexual ways, calling you sexual names, forcing or manipulating you into to having sex or performing sexual acts, demanding sex when you are sick, tired or after beating you, ignoring your feelings about sex, hurting you with weapons or objects during sex.

Imperial County Bad Check Restitution Program

The Imperial County District Attorney’s Office is concerned about the negative impact of bad checks passed to local businesses. Millions of dollars are lost every year by merchants as a result of this ongoing problem. Bad checks affect everyone in terms of higher consumer costs that must be passed on to offset losses and increased taxes to cover additional costs for law enforcement and prosecution.

 

In an effort to combat this problem, we have organized the Bad Check Restitution Program to assist local merchants with bad check losses. The primary goal of the program is to obtain full restitution for the victim without adding to the financial burden of the criminal justice system.

 

First time bad check offenders are given the opportunity to avoid criminal prosecution by attending a mandatory, eight-hour intervention class in addition to playing restitution. All of this is accomplished without any cost to the taxpayers.

Your interest and participation in this special program will benefit all law-abiding citizens and help your business improve its bottom line.

Check

How to Determine a Check’s Eligibility for the Program?

A check is ELIGIBLE if:

  • The amount is no more than $2500 (or multiple checks do not exceed this limit). There are no minimum dollar restrictions.
  • It was received in Imperial County, deposited in a bank in exchange for goods or services and presumed “good” at the time of acceptance.
  • A “Courtesy Notice” was sent to check writer allowing 10 days to make the check good.
  • It is submitted to the program within 90 days from the date on the check.
  • A photo ID (driver’s license, state identification card) was recorded at the time of transaction.

A check is INELIGIBLE if:

  • It is post-dated.
  • Both parties knew there were insufficient funds at the time of the transaction.
  • It is a two-party or government check.
  • The identity of the check writer is unknown.
  • There is no amount, date or signature on the check.
  • The check has not been processed by a bank.
  • The numeric and written amounts on the check do not match.
  • The check involves an “extension of credit.”
  • It is an out of state check.

Procedure Cutting Your Losses as Easy as 1-2-3

Make personal contact with the check writer; if you are unsuccessful, send a courtesy notice.

The check writer has 10 days to respond and remit payment. If you do not hear from the check writer or receive payment, simply contact the Bad Check Crime Restitution Program at 1-866-643-3142 for a crime report.

Fill out the incident report, attach originals (you retain photocopies) of all checks and notification documents, such as return receipts and blank notices, and mail to:

Imperial County District Attorney Bad Check Restitution Program

Post Office Box 3965

El Centro, CA 92244-3965

Elder Abuse

Reporting Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse

Abuse and neglect of the disabled and elderly happens more often than any of us would like to admit. This type of abuse and neglect is serious, and it can happen in any setting. As responsible citizens, all of us must help to prevent and stop abuse, neglect, abandonment, and financial exploitation of vulnerable adults by reporting suspected abuse to the appropriate authorities.

Please remember If a situation appears to be life threatening or a crime is in progress, call 9-1-1 or your local law enforcement. If you believe elder or dependent abuse has occurred, call Adult Protective Services at 1-760-337-7878, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Physical Abuse

  • Unexplained bruises, welts, black eyes, wounds, or fractures
  • Multiple injuries in various stages of healing
  • Sudden changes in behavior (adult is fearful or depressed or engages in self-destructive behavior)
  • The caregiver refuses to allow visitors
  • Person is in restraints or locked in a room
  • Missing patches of hair or hemorrhaging below the scalp Client reports abuse Mental Abuse
  • Person is emotionally upset, agitated, withdrawn, non-communicative, depressed, or non-responsive
  • Caregiver refuses to allow visitors or does not let the person participate in family or community events
  • Client reports abuse

Sexual Abuse

  • Bruising around breasts and/or genital area
  • An unexplained venereal disease
  • Soiled underclothes or bedding
  • Sudden changes in behavior

If any of these conditions apply, please call Adult Protective Services at 1­‐760-‐337­‐7878 immediately to report it.