Justice For All is a podcast about the real stories of the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office told by survivors of crime, prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges and rehabilitated criminals. Topics covered include domestic violence, human trafficking, justice restoration and more.
Months into California’s Shelter In Place orders, it is clear that the pandemic is taking a toll on the mental health of so many of us. Many are dealing with the loss of a job and with it their income and sense of purpose. Others are working from home, with the added strain and impossible balancing act of caring for children or loved ones. Both are recipes for depression, anger and anxiety, with the potential for stress to boil over and manifest itself into abuse and violence in the home. Today, District Attorney Nancy O’Malley is in conversation with Author and Grief Therapist Claire Bidwell Smith. Her new book, Anxiety: The Missing Stage of Grief is particularly poignant during this era of the pandemic.
As everyone in Alameda County is contending with the Stay-At-Home orders and life with a pandemic, the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office continues to operate. This time on Justice For All, we talk to Nancy O’Malley, District Attorney for Alameda County. She talks about life during COVID-19, how her office of over 400 is adjusting to the crisis, Santa Rita jail population reductions, and how her office continues to make headway on major issues affecting the County.
In 2019, the California Legislature and the Governor passed Senate Bill 22, allowing for the prompt testing of rape test kits. However, the road for passage of this bill was long, littered with cases of untested kits, and victims who often wondered whatever happened to their test. In this episode we feature two cases of rape tied to a single man and an untested rape kit and discover how prompt testing in California finally became law.
20% of returning veterans will suffer from PTDS. For many veterans, re-entering society can prove to be difficult. Whether it’s from an injury sustained during a tour in Vietnam or Afghanistan, or a substance abuse problem brought on by PTSD, Veteran’s Court provides a clear path for people to get the help they need to rejoin society in a safe and meaningful way. On today’s show we check just in with the Alameda County DA’s office to see firsthand how this innovative program is helping this important group of citizens in our county.
For many, getting out of jail or prison is only the first step to getting their lives back on track. But depending on what is waiting for you once you get out, that path can prove to be a difficult one – one that might just lead back to jail. Re-entry Court specifically deals with formally incarcerated individuals who need a little help getting their lives back on track. Job training and placement, mental health services, help with housing. It’s all just part of the program at Alameda County Re-Entry Court.
7 out of 10 low level felons who get caught and go to jail, get out of jail and commit the same or similar crimes again within one year. A 70% recidivism rate was simply not good enough for District Attorney Nancy O’Malley. In today’s episode, we meet two people who got their lives back on track through the help of a unique program called the Justice Restoration Project.
In the late summer of 2016, Misti Harrelson was being held hostage in a motel room in East Oakland by her boyfriend. Misti, a 6’1” former college basketball player never imagined that her life would come down to this. The abuse she had endured for years had left her broken – physically and mentally. Somehow, she’d become accustomed to living in fear. Wondering not if, but when the next blow would come. Only now, she was fearing the worst – that her boyfriend who swept her off her feet 10 years ago, with flowers and homecooked dinners, was contemplating killing her. Following the events of this tragic episode in her life, Misti found the strength to overcome the abuse and rebuild her life at the Family Justice Center in Oakland, California. The Family Justice Center, located in Alameda County, was one of the first of its kind in the country. A place where victims of violence, sexual abuse, child abuse, elder abuse, and human trafficking can access services from over 30 different organizations to get the help they need to recover.