Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen is a nationally-recognized leader in criminal justice reform, including: jail population reduction, diversion programs for non-violent offenders, expungements for low level drug crimes, prison reform, and the highest ethical prosecution standards – all while keeping crime at its lowest rate in decades and vigorously and successfully prosecuting murderers, rapists, gangsters, child molesters, polluters and fraudsters.
Since 2011, Mr. Rosen has overseen the largest prosecutor's office north of Los Angeles, serving a population of almost two million. The District Attorney's Office has 640 employees, including 196 deputy district attorneys. From gang homicides to human trafficking to organized cyber and hi-tech crime, the DA’s Office prosecutes tens of thousands of cases in court each year and diverts thousands of others each year to efficiently achieve accountability and justice outside of court. Under Mr. Rosen’s leadership, the Office is more diverse than ever before with women comprising 50% of the prosecutors and African-American, Latino, Asian-American, LGBTQ individuals representing more than 40% of the prosecutors.
Some cases successfully prosecuted under Mr. Rosen’s administration include: former County Supervisor George Shirakawa for stealing public funds; the Nuestra Familia criminal street gang for murder, drug trafficking and robbery; three correctional officers who beat to death mentally ill inmate Michael Tyree; the nation’s largest mushroom grower in a multi-million dollar judgment for water pollution; the killer of 15-year-old Sierra Lamar; numerous sex traffickers of women and children; and Stanford swimmer Brock Turner for sexually assaulting an unconscious young woman. Inspired by the Brock Turner conviction, Mr. Rosen released Channel Miller’s powerful victim impact statement that was read by millions all over the world and helped change the law in California to ensure prison sentences for those convicted of sexually assaulting unconscious and intoxicated victims.
As District Attorney, Mr. Rosen created an innovative, first of its kind, and nationally acclaimed Conviction Integrity Unit to investigate innocence claims and implement the most professional and ethical practices in criminal prosecution, including: double blind eyewitness identification; Open File Discovery; a Brady Committee to investigate police officer misconduct; a collateral consequences policy to prevent undocumented individuals from deportation for non-violent, low level offenses; race blind issuing to combat bias; a Body Worn Camera policy to increase confidence in policing; and a model protocol for the independent, objective, and transparent investigation of police officer involved shootings.
Mr. Rosen established a Cold Case Unit using the most advanced DNA technology to investigate unsolved murders and bring justice to long suffering families. He created a series of Family Justice Centers throughout the County, to make sure that domestic violence survivors had easier access to legal help, shelter, food and counseling. He sent a team of Community Prosecutors into underserved neighborhoods to work with local non-profits and leaders to reduce youth crime, graffiti, vandalism, gang activity and truancy. In the aftermath of the mass shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, he created the Gilroy Strong Resiliency Center, the first on the West Coast, to help the community address ongoing trauma.
Within six hours of the 2021 mass shooting at the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) railyard in San Jose, Mr. Rosen authorized the opening of a Family Assistance Center staffed by mental health professionals, victim advocates, claims specialists for victim compensation programs, and the DA himself. The FAC served more than 130 people. Within days of the shooting, the DA began extra training for law enforcement about gun violence restraining orders, started a public awareness campaign about red flag gun laws and launched an inquiry into why federal authorities did not forward information on the shooter when he was stopped at an airport in 2016 carrying books about terrorism, and notes about how he hated the VTA. Under Mr. Rosen, the DA’s Office uses Gun Violence Restraining Orders (GVROs) more than any other DA’s Office in Northern California.
Mr. Rosen implemented the twelve-week Parent Project® course, completed by thousands of local families, to keep young people out of the criminal justice system by helping parents of troubled teens strengthen their families. He created and put in place a misdemeanor diversion program for low level offenders. He established an innovative and widely discussed narcotics policy that steers drug addicts towards treatment, not jail.
Under Mr. Rosen’s leadership, the DA’s Office created a Victim Services Unit with state and county funding, to provide court support, counseling, restitution, and other services to thousands of crime victims each year.
Mr. Rosen was one of only three elected District Attorneys to support Proposition 36 which reformed the Three Strikes Law and allowed thousands of non-violent offenders to be safely released from state prison. He was also one of only two elected District Attorneys to support Proposition 47 which reclassified drug possession and minor theft crimes from felonies to misdemeanors thereby helping thousands of Californians successfully reintegrate back into our society and become productive citizens.
Mr. Rosen worked with the Governor and State Legislature to help draft and pass Senate Bill 10 which eliminates cash bail in favor of a more fair pre-trial release procedure which focuses on whether an individual is dangerous, not how much money the person has.
Mr. Rosen sponsored and lobbied for the passage of nationally recognized legislation that gives prosecutors the authority to recall prison sentences that are far too long and recommend that a judge reduce the sentences and release the incarcerated inmates in the interests of justice. Mr. Rosen has used this more than a dozen times to grant early release to individuals who are ready to re-enter our community as productive and law-abiding citizens.
Mr. Rosen has taken dozens of prosecutors and investigators to the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles to learn about the Holocaust, racial profiling, implicit bias and the duty of law enforcement to safeguard everyone’s Constitutional rights. He traveled to Germany with the Vera Institute to learn about model prisons dedicated to rehabilitation and the preservation of human dignity. Mr. Rosen gave a TEDx talk about this trip, which included an emotional pilgrimage to the notorious Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, that has more than two million views. Prosecutors now regularly visit local jails and prisons to learn more about conditions on the inside and how some inmates are successfully rehabilitating themselves to become community members in good standing upon their release.
Mr. Rosen took more than a dozen prosecutors and investigators to Montgomery, Alabama to visit the Legacy Museum, National Memorial for Peace and Justice, and Southern Poverty Law Center to learn more about slavery, Reconstruction, Jim Crow and Mass Incarceration.
Mr. Rosen has received numerous awards, including: the Justice Award from the Northern California Innocence Project, the Wester Sweet Award for Legal Activism from the NAACP, the Unity Award from the Minority Bar Coalition, special recognition as an early member and strong supporter of the National Asian and Pacific Islanders Prosecutors’ Association, the Guardian Award from Freedom House for anti-human trafficking leadership, the Pacifica Institute’s Iftar Speaker’s Series, and the Human Rights and Justice Award from the National Council of Jewish Women.
Mr. Rosen joined the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office as a prosecutor in 1995. During his career, he successfully prosecuted some of the most difficult, complex and high-profile criminal cases, including drug trafficking, burglary, robbery, rape, child molestation, gang violence, and murder. In his last remaining case before taking Office as District Attorney, he obtained first degree murder convictions and life sentences against the defendants whose murder-for-hire scheme resulted in the slaying of Los Gatos businessman Mark Achilli.
Before joining the District Attorney's Office, Mr. Rosen worked for prominent law firms in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., where he practiced commercial litigation.
Since arriving in the Bay Area, Mr. Rosen has served as president of a large synagogue, taught trial advocacy at Santa Clara University Law School, and trained police officers in report-writing.
Mr. Rosen received his undergraduate degree from UCLA where he majored in Philosophy and graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa. He also won the prestigious Truman Scholarship and the Outstanding Senior Award. Mr. Rosen received his law degree from UC Berkeley School of Law, where he served on the Moot Court Board and taught English to immigrants.
Mr. Rosen's wife serves as a Superior Court Judge for the State of California. They have two daughters.
Mr. Rosen enjoys playing sports, reading, and cheering for the Green Bay Packers.
An admirer of President Harry Truman, Mr. Rosen believes, "The buck stops here."