Classroom presentation


A Deputy Coroner discusses San Mateo County Coroner cases resulting in the death of a youth as a result of risky behavior

People in hallway wearing PPE

The Save-A-Life program includes a tour of the morgue and a mock autopsy

Tour of morgue

Students experience the sights and smells of the morgue

The Save-A-Life Program is a course for at-risk juveniles who have demonstrated a disregard for their own safety and the safety of others by engaging in risky, reckless, or violent behavior.  The program began as a court-ordered course and it has since been expanded to include any juvenile whose parents or school authorities have identified him or her as an at-risk youth.

Program Objectives

The purpose of the program is to end unsafe behavior by exposing participants to the harsh consequences of their actions.  Through the review of personal tragedies of actual San Mateo County cases, students will have an opportunity to examine their past decisions, to take control over their lives, and ultimately to end their reckless behavior.

Class Dates and Location

2024 Dates:

  • Saturday, May 11, 2024, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, August 24, 2024, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 7, 2024, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.


The course will be held in the Gray Whale Conference Room in the San Mateo Medical Center Admin Building located at 225 37th Avenue, San Mateo, CA 94403.


Participants must attend the program if the Juvenile Court or Probation Department has referred them.  Students referred by their parents or school authorities will need to complete an application.  The program is offered to youths between 14 and 22 years of age.  Class size will not exceed 10 students.  This will provide opportunities for discussion among students and the instructor.  Although parents cannot attend, students are encouraged to discuss their reactions, thoughts, and “Contract for Change” with them. 


Participants under the age of 18 must appear in person with a parent or legal guardian to register for the course.  Registration will occur at the San Mateo County Coroner’s Office at 50 Tower Road in San Mateo.  Registration hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.  Participants will be required to bring proper identification, a copy of their referral or court order (if applicable), and course fee of $50.00 in the form of check, money order, or cash.