On The Record

The Monthly Newsletter from San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis


November 2010

Bonnie smiling
Officials Announce San Diego's First Reentry Court

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors has approved a $1.5 million state grant to establish the county's first Reentry Court.

Gavel"This reentry court is the latest step in reducing prison overcrowding, holding offenders accountable and addressing the threat to public safety from parolees who continue to violate the law," said San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.

The court steers defendants into programs that will provide them with the tools they need to become sober, clean and productive citizens. Reentry Court will only be made available to some defendants who have committed non-violent, non-sexual crimes while on parole, or who violated their parole terms.

The DA's Office joined with several partners to secure the grant and organize the new Reentry Court, including the San Diego County Superior Court, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, San Diego County Sheriff's Department, San Diego County Probation, San Diego County Public Defender, Health and Human Services Agency, and the San Diego Police Department.
Each year, about 8,000 prison inmates are released and returned to San Diego County.  About 70% of parolees who return to our community re-offend within three years and return to prison, the majority with substance abuse and mental health issues.  Reentry programs previously established in San Diego County have already shown early success in reducing recidivism to about 20%.

DA Puts Fraud Warning Ads in Movie Theaters

A new public awareness campaign is now running on over 340 movie screens in theaters across San Diego County aimed at curbing insurance fraud.  Insurance fraud costs California consumers an estimated $15 billion dollars every year and the DA's Office hopes the campaign will make people think twice before committing the crime.


"This powerful anti-fraud message will be seen by an estimated 37,000 people every day in San Diego County," said Deputy District Attorney Dominic Dugo.


Workers' Comp PosterThis movie ad campaign seeks to deter people from committing insurance fraud with the tagline, "Don't do it, don't tolerate it, report it."


Dennis Jay, Executive Director of the Washington D.C.-based Coalition Against Insurance Fraud praised the DA's proactive approach.


"Reaching out to moviegoers with this message is an innovative idea that will help enlist a new generation of people in to the campaign to prevent fraud," said Jay.


The new public awareness campaign is funded through insurance fraud grants from the California Workers' Compensation Fraud Assessment Commission and the California Department of Insurance.  The movie theater ads are scattered across the County and will appear in until December 3.


You can watch the ads here.

DA Renews Injunction Targeting Oceanside Gangs

A Vista Superior Court Judge approved a renewed gang injunction earlier this month against nearly 50 members of a street gang operating in Oceanside. The court order prohibits certain activities within two designated "Safety Zones."

"This latest gang injunction will make Oceanside safer for law-abiding citizens who are being harassed, intimidated and victimized by gang members on a regular basis," said District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.

Gang Injunction MapThe key provisions of the injunction forbid defendants from associating with other gang members, wearing gang colors or flashing gang hand signs. Any violation of the injunction can result in criminal prosecution resulting in a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.

"For years, a coordinated law enforcement effort has kept the pressure on North County street gangs," said County Supervisor Bill Horn, "I commend the District Attorney, the Oceanside Police Department and Superior Court for this renewed gang injunction."

DA's High-Tech Crime Unit Gets National Award


CATCH AwardThe District Attorney's C.A.T.C.H Team (Computer and Technology Crime High-Tech Response Team)  was honored by the 1st Annual Cyber Security Awards.
C.A.T.C.H.received an award as one of the most outstanding organizations in San Diego working to enhance cyber security on behalf of the public.

Winners were nominated by their peers. CATCH Director DDA Brendan McHugh received the award on behalf of the entire team. CATCH has been instrumental in creating a public-private partnership in the high tech arena.
CATCH has an active steering committee comprised of many community partners including Cox Communication, Qualcomm, Intuit, Southern California Physicians, Cisco, Point Loma Credit Union, Sempra Energy, ESET and others.

As part of the awards, a symposium hosted a panel of international experts from Moscow, Malaysia, Mexico, Canada and the United States where the discussion ranged from an exchange of information about new technology to combatting cybercrime and protecting digital citizens around the world.
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JOSEPH BENENATI, 45, was sentenced to 40 years in prison for intentionally setting ablaze several North Park structures in an effort to "get back" at emergency personnel for perceived wrongdoings. The defendant was found guilty of 16 counts of arson and one count of assault with a deadly weapon for pointing a gun at an EMT.

PAUL SOS, 52, pleaded guilty to auto theft and wreckless driving.  He was sentenced to five years, four months in state prison for stealing an ambulance and leading authorities on a chase in Clairemont.


JOEVON WALKER, 31, was convicted of pimping and burglary and faces at least 11 years in state prison when he is sentenced in January.  Walker pimped out, physically abused and threatened to kill a young girl.

The Employees of the San Diego District Attorney, in partnership with the Community we serve, are dedicated to the pursuit of truth, justice and protection of the innocent, and the prevention of crime through the vigorous and professional prosecution of those who violate the law.