updated 12/12/2006 5:09:45 PM ET 2006-12-12T22:09:45

“Crime and Punishment" is a documentary series that goes inside the criminal justice system, produced by "Law & Order" creator Dick Wolf.  All of the cases, attorneys and defendants are real.  Every episode features cases that the San Diego District Attorney’s Office prosecuted over the course of a year.  

Cameras capture the raw emotional interactions between defendants, judges, attorneys, and victims’ families.

Doc Block caught up with some of the San Diego prosecutors and defenders involved in the cases featured in "Crime and Punishment" via email since the series first aired three years ago.

Jill DiCarlo is the prosecutor featured in People v. Contreras. Read on for more about her involvement in "Crime & Punishment." 

Doc Block: How did you feel about having cameras follow you around?

Jill DiCarlo, prosecutor, People v. Contreras: At first it was a little uncomfortable because they were everywhere, but the cameramen were extremely nice and considerate. After a while, I got used to it and it did not bother me, even when they followed me home.

Doc Block: Do cameras alter the way you argue a case in court?

DiCarlo: Not at all.  The cameras in the courtroom were non-intrusive.  They were in little boxes set up in the corners and not noticeable.  Even with the larger cameras at the sentencing hearings, it did not change the way I argued a case in court.  My focus is on the case, not the cameras.

Doc Block: What aspects of the cameras did you like? Dislike?

DiCarlo: It's nice to be able to watch yourself on camera and see where you need to make improvements in your job such as style, technique, presentation and mannerisms.  As for dislikes – that old saying about the camera adding weight is actually true.
Doc Block: What did the experience teach you?

DiCarlo: When the cameras are filming you, you need to be professional at all times in court and in the office.  It's important that even when the cameras aren't rolling that prosecutors maintain the utmost professionalism and integrity because our jobs and how we prosecute them affect so many lives.

Doc Block: What was the public's response to the program? Did you get recognized on the street?

DiCarlo: The response was very positive.  I received many telephone calls after the show from people all over the country asking about domestic violence and wanting to seek help but not knowing where to turn.  I did get recognized several times on the street and at Costco, and believe it or not, still get recognized sometimes.  The show People v. Redondo never aired, but Oprah Winfrey aired part of it on her show when they covered the topic of child molestation. Needless to say, the public response to that episode was absolutely overwhelming.  It took me an entire week to return all the calls seeking advice and to thank me for prosecuting child abuse cases. 

Doc Block: Were you happy with the editing? Did the show accurately portray the prosecution?

DiCarlo: I was happy with the editing. Except the part they left in with me munching on the Red Vines – my weakness.  It was accurate and portrayed us adequately considering they had to edit weeks and weeks of filming down to a 44-minute show.

Doc Block: What was the most interesting thing that happened during the taping of the case you prosecuted?

DiCarlo: How the cameramen were able to find me running along the harbor when I didn't tell them where I was going or what time I was leaving.

Doc Block: What have you been doing since the program aired?

DiCarlo: I am still a prosecutor but have been transferred to the Major Narcotics Unit.  However, I still manage to prosecute some violent crimes while in this unit.


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