Mark Jackson earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Colorado State University and his Juris Doctor degree from California Western School of Law in San Diego, California. He was admitted to the Nevada Bar in 1991. Mark was a partner in a law firm from 1992 through 2000. He joined the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office in January of 2001 as a Deputy District Attorney and prosecuted most of the high profile criminal cases that occurred between 2001 and 2006. Mark was first elected as the District Attorney for Douglas County, Nevada, in 2006, and was re-elected in 2010, 2014 and 2018.
During his first year in office, Mark created a Special Victim Response Team (SVRT) to address the historically poor accountability of domestic violence offenders and the lack of safety measures in place for victims of such crimes. The SVRT identifies, assesses and responds to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking through collaboration with law enforcement and non-governmental agencies. In addition, the SVRT increases the safety and well-being of women and children by dealing directly and immediately with domestic violence crimes. Prior to the implementation of the SVRT, the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office lost most domestic violence cases before the cases were even filed. Victims routinely recanted and were largely uncooperative. Victims had no contact with law enforcement from the time the offender was arrested until the case was reviewed for prosecution or the matter was brought to trial. These practices resulted in conviction rates with an historical average of 15-20%. Offenders were not being held accountable. Victims remained within the cycle of violence and, in too many cases, children witnessed the acts of violence or were also victimized during the criminal episodes. Conviction rates rose to 48% during the first six months utilizing the SVRT protocols and then climbed to 74% during the ensuing six months. The conviction rate for domestic violence cases over the last 5 years has averaged 85%, one of the highest conviction rates in the country for domestic violence.
In January of 2007, Governor Jim Gibbons commissioned, by executive order, the Governor’s Working Group on Methamphetamine Use. Mark was appointed by Governor Gibbons to serve on the sixteen member working group to study the impact of methamphetamine on the state’s law enforcement, correctional facilities, social services and community services. The working group examined the methamphetamine epidemic and closely examined prevention, treatment, and enforcement efforts to best combat and reduce the abuse of methamphetamine within our state. The working group continued by executive orders until December 31, 2010.
One of the recommendations of the Governor’s Working Group on Methamphetamine Use was to expand the scope of the working group. In 2011, the Attorney General’s Substance Abuse Working Group (SAWG) was created by Assembly Bill 61 and became effective July 1, 2011. The scope of the SAWG was to study similar issues with respect to substance abuse in Nevada. Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto served as chair of the working group and she appointed Mark as one of the nine members to the working group. Mark also served as Vice- Chair of the working group and he served on the legislative subcommittee. Mark served on this working group for six years.
Mark was also appointed by Attorney General Masto to the Nevada Council for the Prevention of Domestic Violence in January of 2011. The council met on a quarterly basis to create training plans in partnership with statewide professional associations or licensing boards, develop best practice procedures for professionals working with victims of domestic violence, and work to enhance education of children on issues related to domestic violence, teen dating violence, healthy relationships, and conflict resolution. Mark served on this council for six years.
Based on Mark’s dedication to combating domestic violence on a local and statewide level, Attorney General Masto appointed Mark to the Attorney General’s Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team (AG-DVFRT) that was created by Senate Bill 66 in 2011. As codified in NRS 228.495, the multidisciplinary team reviewed certain cases involving the death of the victim of a crime that constitutes domestic violence in order to make policy and other recommendations for the prevention of deaths from crimes that constitute domestic violence and to engage in activities to educate the public, victim services providers and policymakers concerning strategies for intervention and prevention of such crimes. Mark served on this team for four years.
The Nevada District Attorneys Association appointed Mark as the association’s representative to the Advisory Commission on the Administration of Justice (ACAJ) in 2011. The ACAJ identifies and studies elements of Nevada’s criminal justice system including crimes, sentencing, probation and parole, and to makes recommendations to the legislature or governor concerning policies and procedures related to the State Board of Parole Commissioners, the Department of Corrections and budgetary issues related thereto. The ACAJ meets in the interim between sessions of the Nevada Legislature. Mark continues to serve on this commission.
Mark served as a director of the Partnership of Community Resources, a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency, from 2004 until 2009, to promote education and prevention efforts to combat substance abuse in Douglas County.
Mark was an instructor on Search Warrant Law, the Legal Aspects of Drug Task Force Investigations, and participated in mock trials for the Department of Defense Multijurisdictional Counterdrug Task Force Training Program in 2001 and 2002. In 2003, the Nevada Department of Public Safety in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice put on the two-week program and Mark continued to serve as an instructor on the Legal Aspects of Drug Task Force Investigations and as an attorney for the mock trials from 2003 through 2007.
Mark served as an Academy Instructor on Search and Seizure Law for the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Reserve Academy from 2003 through 2006, the Nevada Commission on Peace Officers’ Standards & Training from 2004 through 2006, the Nevada Department of Public Safety, Nevada Highway Patrol Academy in 2004 and 2005, and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Senior Academy in 2007.
Mark was an instructor on Innovative Ways to Address Underage Drinking at the Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws National Conference in Tucson, Arizona in 2005. He was a lecturer at the Nevada Judges Limited Jurisdiction Winter Conference in 2006 on Search & Seizure Laws and Issues Affecting Limited Jurisdiction Courts, and the Nevada Judges of Limited Jurisdiction Winter Conference in 2007 on Prosecution and Defense Issues and the Court’s Response.
Mark was a lecturer at the Annual Nevada Prosecutors Conferences on issues related to Drug Endangered Children, Clearing the Confusion on Automobile Searches, and Legal Aspects of Synthetic Cannabinoids from 2007 through 2010. Mark also lectured on Synthetic Cannabinoids at the Nevada Marijuana Summit in 2011 and he was a panel presenter at the Nevada Drug Summit in 2012 on Heroin, Meth and Cocaine: Where They Come From and the Law Enforcement Response.
Mark has served three terms as President of the Nevada District Attorney’s Association. He has prosecuted several high profile criminal cases that have aired on Fox’s America’s Most Wanted, NBC’s Primetime Live and NBC’s Dateline.