Summer Stephan
District Attorney Summer Stephan. Official photo

San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan has been named Southern California District Attorney of the Year by Crime Victims United, a statewide charitable foundation that uses education, legislative advocacy and political action to enhance public safety, promote effective crime-reduction measures and strengthen the rights of crime victims.

The award will be presented Monday at the group’s annual march at the State Capitol, in honor of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, April 8 to April 14.

Stephan, who has been a prosecutor in San Diego County for 28 years, has been recognized across California and the nation for her work on behalf of human trafficking and sex crimes victims.

“I’m so honored to be selected as the recipient of the Southern California District Attorney of the Year by Crime Victims United of California,” Stephan said. “The Crime Victims United mission of ‘protecting today’s victims and preventing tomorrow’s,’ has been my calling for the last 28 years, which is why this award is especially meaningful. I’ve devoted my life to being a voice for justice, for the voiceless, and for the most vulnerable victims of violent crime. Crime Victims United and its founder, Harriet Salarno, have been there alongside me as California’s advocate for victims.”

Last year, the San Diego District Attorney’s Office served more than 15,200 victims of crime including the crimes of rape, murder, child molestation, human trafficking, robbery, torture, domestic violence, elder abuse and many other forms of victimization. Stephan has developed a Victim Services Division that focuses on a trauma informed approach to serving victims.

“While we take our solemn constitutional responsibility for victims very seriously, we also work to create and support evidence-based programs for defendants that address the underlying causes of crime in order to reduce incarceration and recidivism,” Stephan said.

Stephan leads the second largest DA’s Office in California, managing a staff of more than 1,000 employees.