What is the Grand Jury?
The Grand Jury is a part of the judicial branch of government — “an arm of the court.” It does not have the functions of either the legislative or executive branches, and it is not a police agency. Additionally, it does not mandate policy changes. It is an examining and investigative body that makes recommendations to improve systems, procedures, and methods of operations in designated local government.
The Presiding Superior Court Judge appoints a foreperson who presides at all full jury proceedings and is responsible for directing the business of the Grand Jury. Most Grand Jury work is done by committees. The areas of focus of these committees usually include Environment, Juvenile Justice, Social Services, Health, Administration, Criminal Justice, Public Works, and Special Districts.
The Grand Jury and its committees meet several times a month. They meet with county and city officials, visit county facilities, and conduct independent research on matters of interest or concern. The committees report to the full Grand Jury and conclusions are reached after discussion and study of the issues. The Grand Jury may seek advice or request the services of the County Counsel, District Attorney, Presiding Judge of the Superior Court, or State Attorney General.