Advancing Equity

Proactively seek to eliminate inequities and embed equity and inclusion lenses in daily operations, policies, and budget decisions.

In 2019, the Office of the Public Defender, with support from the Board of Supervisors, piloted the Pre-arraignment Representation and Review (PARR) team. The PARR team’s objective is to reduce wealth disparities in access to pre-arraignment representation, safely reduce the jail population by increasing pretrial release with appropriate case plans and correspondingly decrease the negative collateral consequences of incarceration, namely, the social and economic damage to the incarcerated persons and their families. This measure tracks the number of clients that received PARR early representation the number of family and/or community support persons contacted, and the number of persons that received early investigation and/or DA advocacy. 
The Office of the Public Defender (PDO) provides holistic representation to the indigent accused in Santa Clara County. Holistic representation involves direct service provision from the legal team to meet a broad array of needs for the criminal defendant including immigration consultation and social work assistance. The Office records the number of completed expungement petitions and applications, referrals to an immigration attorney, and referrals to a social worker.
Accessible Voting Technology
The Registrar of Voters measures the use of expanded accessible voting technology, including accessible touch screen ballot marking devices and remote accessible vote-by-mail ballots. These accessible systems are for voters who are unable to easily mark their paper ballot. Audio, visual, and tactile interfaces are used in any voter-preferred combination to navigate and mark a ballot. Additionally, remote accessible vote-by-mail enables voters to securely access and mark their ballots using their home assistive technology.
Alternative Voting Options
The Registrar of Voters measures the use and effectiveness of alternative voting options designed to encourage voter participation by making the process of casting a ballot more convenient, from ballot drop-off sites to Vote Centers (formerly known as Polling Places) to paid postage on mail ballots. Quantitative data about how many ballots are cast using these alternative options will gauge the extent to which the services offered are useful to voters and how effectively the Department is making the public aware of available services.
Language Accessibility
As the County strives to make voting more accessible to voters with diverse needs and preferences, the Registrar of Voters measures the extent to which voting assistance and informational materials are available and used in multiple languages and accessible formats. Quantitative data about the availability of Election Officers capable of providing multilingual assistance is a gauge indicating availability of language services and translated materials in Vote Centers (formerly known as Polling Places) and other locations where voters received the Department's services.