The facility assists between 10,000 to 14,000 crime victims annually

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY — After a nationwide recruitment, San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow announced that Jessica Yates had been selected as the Director of the Christopher G. Money Victim Witness Assistance Center upon the transfer of former Director Tim Murphy to a new role with the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigations.

Established in 1977 as one of only two centers at the time in California, the Victim Witness Assistance Center serves all victims of crime who reside in San Luis Obispo County.

The director oversees a staff of 21 personnel, including interns, victim advocates, witness coordinators, claims representatives, and support staff. The assistance center staff collectively assists between 10,000 to 14,000 crime victims annually, including those who are victims of physical violence, theft, and property crimes. 


“We are extremely pleased with Jessica Yates’ selection as director because of her qualifications and her passionate desire to make our community safer by assisting those who have been severely impacted by crime,” Dow said. “Director Yates has instantly become a highly valued member of our District Attorney management team.” 

Yates holds a master’s degree in business administration with specialization in financial management from National University, La Jolla, and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of California, Irvine. 

Yates most recently worked for the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office, where she served as the business systems analyst. There she led the county’s Stepping Up initiative, a national program helping to advance efforts by county governments to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses and co-occurring substance use disorders in jails. In her lead role, she collaborated with county department heads, the chief administration officer, and other county staff who comprise the executive steering committee. Yates developed and authored a comprehensive three-year strategic plan for San Luis Obispo County’s Stepping Up program. 

Additionally, Yates partnered with the sheriff’s community action team to provide Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) for law enforcement and other agencies throughout San Luis Obispo County. She has conducted numerous presentations to various agencies, county, and city governments, and other stakeholders. Yates has experience researching grant opportunities, writing grant proposals, and managing budgets for awarded grants. In addition, she has several years of experience in the private sector, where she served as a marketing manager and a regional vice president with an investment services company.

“We also thank outgoing Victim Witness Director Tim Murphy for his outstanding service over the past two years,” Dow said. “Tim’s work of implementing our mass victimization advocate program, creating our courthouse dog program, and overseeing the assistance center throughout the pandemic was superb.”

Murphy assumed a new role as a senior investigator in the District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Investigation.