SANTA CLARA COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY JEFF ROSEN is a nationally recognized leader in criminal justice reform. His changes to one of the largest prosecutorial offices in the country include: reducing the jail population, diversion programs for non-violent offenders, expungements for low level drug crimes, prison reform, and promoting the highest ethical prosecution standards. This, all while keeping crime at its lowest rate in decades, by vigorously and successfully prosecuting murderers, rapists, drug traffickers, domestic violence abusers, child molesters, corporate polluters, and those who commit fraud against the elderly.
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 over 620 employees, including 190 deputy district attorneys.
From gang homicides to human trafficking to cyber-crime, the DA’s Office prosecutes tens of thousands of cases in court each year and diverts thousands of others to achieve justice inside and outside of court. Under Mr. Rosen’s leadership, the Office is more diverse than ever, with women comprising just over 50% of prosecutors and African-American, Hispanic, Asian-American, and LGBTQIA+ individuals representing more than 40% of the prosecutors.
Mr. Rosen’s administration has successfully prosecuted many notable cases, including:
- The Los Gatos woman for hosting drunken parties for young teens and facilitating sexual acts.
- 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 kidnapper and killer of 15-year-old Sierra Lamar.
- The nation’s largest mushroom grower in a multi-million dollar judgment for water pollution.
- Numerous sex traffickers of women and children, which called for the creation of the LEIHT Human Trafficking Task Force.
- Stanford swimmer Brock Turner for sexually assaulting an unconscious young woman.
Inspired by the Brock Turner conviction, Mr. Rosen released Chanel Miller’s powerful victim impact statement that was read by millions. Releasing the statement helped change the law in California to ensure appropriate prison sentences for those convicted of sexually assaulting unconscious victims, in addition to intoxicated and conscious victims.
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.
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 ethical practices in criminal prosecution. Some of the programs within the Unit are a Brady Committee to investigate police officer misconduct, double blind eyewitness identification, Open File Discovery, a collateral consequences policy to prevent undocumented individuals from deportation for non-violent and 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 and transparent investigation of police officer involved shootings.
Mr. Rosen sent Community Prosecutors into marginalized and underserved neighborhoods to work with nonprofits and local leaders to reduce youth crime, truancy, graffiti, and gang activity. He also implemented the twelve-week Parent Project® course - now completed by thousands of families - to keep young people out of the criminal justice system by helping parents of troubled teens strengthen their families. Further, he implemented 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. And, under Mr. Rosen’s leadership, the DA’s Office created a Victim Services Unit to provide court support, counseling, restitution, and other services to thousands of crime victims each year.
District Attorney Jeff Rosen established an innovative and widely discussed narcotics policy that steers drug addicts towards treatment, not jail. At the start of 2022, Mr. Rosen announced that the DA’s Office dissolved its traditional Narcotics Unit and implemented a new prosecutorial unit, Major Crime and Drug Trafficking, which targets large scale drug operations, the fentanyl trade, and organized crime, including retail theft. Mr. Rosen also authored and advocated for statewide legislation that gives prosecutors the ability to recall sentences and release inmates who have served decades in prison and are ready to rejoin the community safely and successfully.
In the aftermath of the mass shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, Mr. Rosen created the Gilroy Strong Resiliency Center 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 (FAC), staffed by mental health professionals, victim advocates, and specialists for victim compensation programs. The FAC served over 130 people. Just days after the shooting, DA Rosen created 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 VTA shooter when he was stopped at an airport in 2016 for suspected terrorism.
Mr. Rosen has supported propositions that allowed thousands of non-violent offenders to be safely released from prison and reclassified minor theft and drug 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 draft and pass the elimination of cash bail in favor of a more fair pretrial release procedure, which focuses on whether an individual is dangerous, not how much money the person has. In a series of 26 social justice Bend the Arc reforms, Mr. Rosen declared that he would no longer seek the death penalty.
District Attorney Jeff 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 people’s rights. He also traveled to Germany with the Vera Institute to learn about model prisons that rehabilitate and preserve human dignity. Mr. Rosen gave a well-admired TEDx Talk about this trip, which included a pilgrimage to the former Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Mr. Rosen’s TEDx Talk has been viewed more than 2.6 million times. Prosecutors now regularly visit local jails and prisons to learn more about conditions on the inside and how many inmates are successfully rehabilitating themselves to become good standing community members upon their release. In 2019, DA 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 received his undergraduate degree from the University of California in Los Angeles, where he majored in Philosophy and graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa. He 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 joined the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office as a prosecutor in 1995. During this time, he successfully prosecuted some of the most complex and high-profile criminal cases in drug trafficking, burglary, 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.
Since arriving in Santa Clara County, 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 has two daughters with his wife, who serves as a Superior Court Judge for the State of California. He enjoys playing sports, reading, and cheering for the Green Bay Packers.
An admirer of President Harry Truman, DA Rosen believes, "The buck stops here."
- Statewide and National Statements on Criminal Justice Reforms, Including Amicus Briefs Signed by DA Rosen