Publication Date

Spring 2020

Degree Type

Master's Project

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration (MPA)


Urban and Regional Planning

First Advisor

Matthew Record


Defense Investigators, Academic Training, The California Defense Investigators Association, Defense Investigator Training Academy, DITA training effectiveness, Criminal Defense Profession


Training is a crucial component of investigation work; however, there is a significant discrepancy regarding the training mandated and received by prosecution-oriented and defense-oriented investigators. Prosecution investigators (such as law enforcement detectives or District Attorney investigators) have considerable resources and require extensive training aside from one’s education. In respect to training, investigators who work for the prosecution are required to complete the California Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST). Completion of POST is a minimum of 664 hours of training (POST, 2020). However, there is no mandatory training program, academy, or number of cumulative training hours required for an investigator working for the defense. Although those who work in criminal defense may have a background in law enforcement or other types of investigations, those who do not may begin their career without significant experience or mandatory training. Despite a different approach in how the work is completed, and who the client may be (defendant vs. “the people”), the job is conducted with the purpose of finding the facts of a case. Training serves as a tool in that it can provide valuable skills to increase work performance. The discrepancy in training requirements for these similar professions results in an imbalance within the criminal justice system.

An evaluation of DITA’s effectiveness is crucial to the profession of criminal defense, as it is one of the only academy trainings for defense investigators in California and throughout the nation. The present research explored the effectiveness of the DIA’s DITA program.

Research Question: What is the effectiveness of the California Defense Investigators Association’s Defense Investigator Training Academy program?