The Citizens' Academy

“You have been accepted!” Those were the magic words I was hoping to hear when I sent in my application for the Spring 2016 Citizens’ Academy. Offered by the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, the Citizens’ Academy provides an exciting behind-the-scenes look at the criminal justice system.

I now have a front row seat as experts discuss high-profile homicides, gang prosecutions, human trafficking, dangerous drug trends, law enforcement use of force policy and officer involved shootings, elder abuse, economic crimes, the role of the CATCH team (Computer and Technology Crime High-Tech Response Team), insurance fraud, and victim services. A tour of the San Diego Medical Examiner’s Office and special access to the Sheriff’s weapon simulator are additional highlights. Who could ask for more?

The Citizens’ Academy was off to a blazing start on March 24, 2016 when District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and Sheriff William Gore gave enthusiastic opening greetings to the 78 participants. Chief Deputy District Attorneys David Hendren and David Greenberg then gave in-depth presentations about the criminal justice system and the San Diego District Attorney’s Office. What a night!

If you are interested in applying for the next academy, please go to:  Any member of the public may apply to this competitive program, but must pass a criminal background check and commit to the ten-week program one evening per week.

Don’t miss Aleida’s true crime stories from inside the courtroom! You may read them at:

About Aleida K. Wahn, Esq.

I am an attorney, award-winning true crime writer, and legal analyst of criminal cases. I cover criminal trials and write stories and books about compelling, gripping, and unforgettable cases that impact our world. I take you into the courtroom in high-profile murder trials, rape cases, crimes of passion, cases involving mental illness, deviant behavior, and more. I have a deep passion for true crime, criminal law, and all aspects of the criminal justice system. I have appeared as an expert on true crime shows, including “48 Hours,” “Snapped,” and “The Dead Files,” and provided legal analysis on high-profile criminal trials on Court TV, the Law & Crime Trial Network, Fox 5 News, ABC 10 News, and KUSI News. I also create and host shows with the Del Mar Television Producers Group, addressing criminal justice and social issues in recent criminal trials.

I provided my insight and legal analysis on Court TV and the Law & Crime Trial Network of the high-profile trial of former NFL star Kellen Winslow Jr. It was a trial that captured the nation as the heralded ex-football star with fame, fortune, and a famous name stood accused of multiple rapes and other sex crimes involving five women. As the trial delved into shocking facts, complicated legal issues, and unexpected twists and turns, I was there for every minute. After the trial, I wrote a book on the case, going behind the headlines to share the extraordinary details of what happened inside the courtroom. Judging Winslow Jr.: From NFL Star to Serial Rapist? Inside the Shocking Rape Trial of Kellen Boswell Winslow II is now available on Amazon.

I am passionate about telling true crime stories, as these penetrating stories have the power to move us all, while highlighting societal issues which need to be addressed. I have personally seen the human devastation which is present in each trial and believe there is a lesson to be learned in every single case. It is through awareness and examining critical issues society can effect change and even make new laws. To learn more, please visit:

Read about the gripping and unforgettable trials that I have covered in my latest books: