Orange County District Attorney
Press Release

Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701

For Immediate Release
August 8th, 2003
Contact:Jose Morfin: (714) 347-8415
Linda Le: (714) 347-8410

SANTA ANA – Local high school students will find out what it’s like to be a prosecutor, defense attorney, police detective or judge next week when they attend a weeklong program that takes them behind the scenes of the judicial system. The program will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, August 11 2003, with welcoming remarks by District Attorney Tony Rackauckas.  After a week’s worth of activities (35-40 hours) the students will participate in a mock trial in the morning on Friday, August 15, 2003, with a graduation ceremony to follow at 11:00 a.m. 

The 3rd Annual Summer Youth Education Conference, sponsored by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, will give local high school students a chance to interact with criminal justice professionals and various law enforcement agencies.  This program was designed to provide its participants with an informative view of the progress of a criminal case.  Based upon their application, students, who exhibited a great interest in learning more about the legal system and its role in the community, were selected to participate in the program.

“This program is a great way for young people in our community to learn about the criminal justice system in a positive light.  This group of students may have future police officers, prosecutors and judges who will serve our community someday.  Working with the youth population, especially in underrepresented communities, is extremely important in helping these kids to choose a positive path,” said District Attorney Tony Rackauckas.

The participants will have an opportunity to visit the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Santa Ana Police Department, a courtroom and a judge’s chambers.  The program will include educational workshops from a police investigator, a prosecutor, a public defender, community agencies and other criminal justice professionals.   Students will be provided with a rare opportunity to visit these agencies and network with professionals.

“The Summer Youth Education Conference was a great experience and introduced me to many aspects of criminal justice that I was not aware of.  I now have a better understanding of how law enforcement works together.  I also got to meet some great role models,” stated Diana Barriga, a Saddleback High graduate from last year’s program.

The Government & Community Relations Unit will spearhead this event.  District Attorney Rackauckas created the unit in 1999 to link the immigrant community with law enforcement by providing information and education about the criminal justice system. The District Attorney’s Office thanks organizations who have donated food or certificates to the program: Carl’s Jr., First Class Pizza, In-N-Out Burger, Jarritos Drinks, Olive Garden, Papa John’s Pizza, Pick-up-Stix, Plaza Garibaldi Restaurant, Super Antojitos, Togo’s Sandwiches and Wok Stix.