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David Onek

Title: Lecturer
Email Address: donek@law.berkeley.edu

David Onek is a Senior Fellow and lecturer at Berkeley Law and the host of the Criminal Justice Conversations Podcast. Onek joined Berkeley Law in 2006 as the Founding Executive Director of the Berkeley Center for Criminal Justice (now part of the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy).

Onek was a candidate for San Francisco District Attorney in 2011, running on a strong criminal justice reform platform and finishing second out of five candidates in the race, which was won by the incumbent. He previously served as a Commissioner on the San Francisco Police Commission, where with his fellow commissioners he set policy for the Police Department and conducted disciplinary hearings on charges of police misconduct.

Onek also served as Deputy Director of the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice in San Francisco, where he led numerous criminal justice policy initiatives for Mayor Gavin Newsom. Prior to that, he worked as a Senior Program Associate at the W. Haywood Burns Institute, where he worked to reduce racial disparities in the juvenile justice system in ten sites throughout the country. Following graduation from law school, Onek received a Skadden Fellowship to work as a Staff Attorney at Legal Services for Children in San Francisco. Before attending law school, Onek was a Research Associate at the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD), where he researched and developed model juvenile justice programs and systems nationwide, and a Counselor at Walden House, where he counseled delinquent youth with mental health and substance abuse issues.

Onek's publications include "Serious Gun Violence in San Francisco: Developing a Partnership-Based Violence Prevention Strategy" (with Braga and Meares) in Community Policing and Peacekeeping (2009); "Reducing Disproportionate Minority Confinement in Seattle: The W. Haywood Burns Institute Approach" (with Bell and Finley) in No Turning Back: Promising Approaches to Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities Affecting Youth of Color in the Justice System (2005); and "What Works with Juvenile Offenders? A Review of 'Graduated Sanction' Programs" (with Krisberg and Currie) in Community Corrections: Probation, Parole and Intermediate Sanctions (1998). He lives in San Francisco's Bernal Heights neighborhood with his wife Kara Dukakis and daughters Olivia and Nora.


B.A., Brown University (1991)
J.D., Stanford Law School (1999)

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