justice system


When social injustice happens, people of faith have a moral obligation to respond.


We are dismantling unfair and racist systems that disproportionately criminalize, imprison and deport people of color and the unsheltered population. When fewer people are unfairly held in local prison, jail and juvenile facilities, we can re-invest the resulting savings into prevention, treatment and rehabilitation services.

Our Victories

After one of our community members was inflicted with human trafficking, SDOP organized around the issue. The County of San Diego passed Supervisor Nora Vargas’ letter titled, Enhancing Human Trafficking Prevention and Coordination. This letter will direct the Chief Administrative Officer to look at how we can more effectively support survivors with the most available resources possible to give them the best opportunity to not just survive, but thrive. Check out more on human trafficking prevention work below: 

In 2021, Oceanside Police Department’s Chief Armijo agreed to adopt a mandatory de-escalation policy, following a public meeting held by SDOP and attended by over 200 community members. This changed the de-escalation policy language from “should” to “shall” and hold police officers who could use de-escalation tactics but don’t accountable. Check it out here!

In 2020, SDOP was successful in advocating for the City of Oceanside to conduct a transparent and open search for the next Chief of Police. Check it out here!

SDOP leaders met with Probation Chief Adolfo Gonzalez multiple times to advocate for more funding to transform the juvenile justice system. Now, our vision of transforming and redesigning juvenile hall from a jail to a campus for healing and education for our kids is underway, with $100 million secured for this purpose in San Diego County’s 2018 budget.

To support clergy in their efforts to improve police-community relations, we worked with the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice at the University of San Diego and the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego to launch Building Trust: A Partnership of Clergy, Communities and Police Initiative. The goal of the project is to provide knowledge, resources and support to clergy of all faiths so they can more effectively build trust between police and communities. We will provide practical information to clergy on their role in strengthening police-community relations. This includes the most successful approaches clergy have used in San Diego and around the country, community-specific information and guidance on concrete steps to get started.

SDOP and the ACLU lead Invest in San Diego Families’ Smart Justice campaign, which met with City of San Diego officials to request several initiatives, including funding for restorative justice and restorative practice training, community engagement support training, funding for mental health crisis, funding for pre-trial services and several other items. We received a favorable response from the City along with a promise to use and allocate funds as we requested.