Chief of Prevention, Intervention and Opportunity for Youth and Young Adults

Duane Deskins, previously a federal prosecutor for more than 30 years in the United States Justice Department, was the First Assistant County Prosecutor, Chief Prosecutor in the Juvenile Division and Director of Crime Prevention beginning in 2014. During his tenure at the Justice Department, Deskins worked as an Assistant United States Attorney in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and his native Cleveland. Duane helped shape and implement the department’s Project Safe Neighborhood and Project Sentry strategy to reduce violent crime using data-driven initiatives and broad-based community collaborations.

In 2014, Duane joined the Juvenile Justice Division at the Cuyahoga County Prosecutors Office and led a proactive effort to crack down on youth gang violence within the Detention Center and in neighborhoods throughout Cuyahoga County.  Later in 2014, Duane Deskins was selected First Assistant County Prosecutor. He was the first African-American to hold these positions.

He has worked with police chiefs and community groups alike to deter juvenile crime and present at-risk youth with more positive options. He has also developed closer ties between prosecutors at Juvenile Court and those who work downtown at the Justice Center.

Deskins grew up in the Glenville and Shaker Square neighborhoods in Cleveland and graduated from St. Ignatius High School. He received his undergraduate and law degrees from Boston College. He taught at Harvard Law School and Case Western Reserve Law School.