SAN DIEGO FAMILY JUSTICE CENTER
America’s most comprehensive family justice center opened October 10, 2002; offering
hope to families who are striving to break the cycle of family violence. The San Diego Family
Justice Center is the vision of San Diego City Attorney Casey Gwinn. After former San Diego
Police Chief David Bejarano was appointed Police Chief in 1999, Bejarano embraced Gwinn’s
dream and the Police Department conducted the study. In April 2002, the San Diego City
Council approved the financial plan to create the Family Justice Center with a $500,000
challenge grant from the California Endowment. August 2003, Bill Lansdowne was appointed
the new Police Chief and vowed to also make domestic violence a priority issue, stating
“violence is learned in the home.” On October 8, 2003, President George W. Bush announced
the “President’s Family Justice Center Initiative,” creating 12 family justice centers, modeled
after the San Diego Family Justice Center.
First in the nation to house the entire domestic violence units of a police department and a
city’s prosecutorial office:
Under one roof is the San Diego Police Department’s Domestic Violence Unit (40) and the
San Diego City Attorney’s Domestic Violence Unit (32)
First in the nation to house a forensic medical unit for the treatment, evaluation and
documentation of domestic violence injuries:
Sharp Grossmont Hospital is the sponsor of the Forensic Medical Unit. It is staffed with
a doctor who is also the medical director and a nurse practitioner. Victims of domestic
violence with non-threatening injuries are treated. Opened: Oct 15, 2003
Unified government and community partnership that will bring together, on site, key domestic
violence professionals from throughout San Diego County: (partial list of services)
San Diego County Probation Department
The District Attorney’s Office
*Marine Corps Community Services: provides advocacy services to military victims.
(Made possible through a grant from the U.S. Department of Defense.)
Center for Community Solutions: operates temporary restraining order clinics and helps
victims file the legal documents.
Traveler’s Aid: provides transportation to victims to and from the FJC
San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program: assists victims with other legal issues such as
divorce, child custody and more.
Two phases to the San Diego Family Justice Center:
Phase I was the opening of the FJC
Phase II is expanding the services of the FJC, including building a permanent home with
regional centers. $10-million capital campaign is now underway.
Camp Hope at San Diego’s Lake Sutherland:
It is the first camp in the nation to offer children a place to heal from the emotional
wounds of family violence. Camp Hope is a program of FJC and opened August 2003.
San Diego Family Justice Center Foundation:
The Foundation was created in June 2003, and raises monies for the FJC and Camp
January 2003, Gwinn and the FJC received national recognition on the Oprah Winfrey
Show; June 2003, FJC was a finalist for the National Mayor’s Livability Award.