Meet the DA
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. She was re-elected four years later without opposition.
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 public’s trust.
A Los Angeles native and graduate of the University of Southern California Law School, District Attorney Lacey leads the largest local prosecutorial office in the nation, with a workforce of approximately 1,000 lawyers, 300 investigators and 800 support staff employees.
She is the first woman and first African-American to serve as Los Angeles County District Attorney since the office was established in 1850.
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Maintaining the office’s tradition of pursuing justice, District Attorney Lacey established the Conviction Review Unit to assess claims of actual innocence based on newly discovered evidence. She also appointed the office’s first Professional Responsibility Advisor.
District Attorney Lacey launched the Financial Elder 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.
District Attorney Lacey also assembled 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 serious injuries.
She created the Human Sex Trafficking Section, the Complex Child Abuse Section and a special unit dedicated to protecting children from abuse through the enhanced monitoring of the countywide electronic suspected child abuse reporting system.
Within the office, District Attorney Lacey has worked to improve the hiring and training of prosecutors as part of a continuing effort to assure the public that deputy district attorneys are maintaining the highest ethical standards.
As founder and chair of the Criminal Justice Mental Health Project for Los Angeles County, District Attorney Lacey leads a multidisciplinary group devoted to diverting people who are mentally ill out of the criminal justice system for nonviolent offenses.
Under her leadership, the group produced an award-winning report, “A Blueprint for Change,” which set priorities that include adding community-based beds to house and treat individuals with mental illness, particularly those with criminal records.
As part of that effort, District Attorney Lacey initiated an ambitious plan within her office to provide free training to first responders on how to safely de-escalate incidents involving people in a mental health crisis.
She is actively involved in the implementation of legislative and voter actions, such as the Public Safety Realignment Act and the Three Strikes Resentencing Law. She successfully sought legislative reforms, including passage of a 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 Sam Cochran Criminal Justice Award by the National Alliance on Mental Illness; and the Ernestine Stahlhut Award from the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles.
For five years, District Attorney Lacey dedicated one lunch hour a week to teaching fifth-graders at Lorena Street 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 and internationally.
A graduate of the University of 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 Office.
District Attorney Lacey and her husband, David, have two adult children.