Reforms are absolutely necessary to ensure that justice is fairly executed for every person in San Francisco regardless of skin color or where you come from. The true goal of criminal justice reform is to create and enhance alternatives to incarceration, and to ensure that everyone in the criminal justice system is treated equitably and fairly. Holding offenders accountable does not preclude us from moving forward with implementing vital criminal justice reform.
Connecting Public Drug Users to Services + Treatment
In order to fight against our public drug use and overdose crisis, we must have a more realistic and grounded approach to those struggling with addiction.
Under our Office’s misdemeanor drug possession policy, those dealing with substance addiction who have received five citations will be directed to the Community Justice Center (CJC) to access treatment and services. Addressing substance use and addiction in our community requires an all-hands-on-deck approach that includes the criminal justice system. This policy takes into account both accountability and compassion for substance users by using the criminal justice system to connect those struggling with addiction to the treatment facilities and services they need to recover.
When someone reaches five citations for public drug use, that is a clear signal that they are in a crisis and need support. The Community Justice Center’s purpose is to help those struggling with substance abuse get the help they need, it is not the venue for drug dealers who, in the past, have been directed to the CJC when arrested with up to 100 grams of fentanyl.
Elimination of Cash Bail In Most Instances
My office will evaluate every pre-trial release decision on a case-by-case basis while considering victim safety, the protection of the public, the seriousness of the offense, previous criminal records, and the probability of the defendant’s appearance in court.
These evaluating factors allow for our Office to make holistic and informative decisions, ensuring consideration of less restrictive alternatives such as protective orders, electronic monitoring, and home detention.
Financial means should not play a role in the decision-making process to detain or release defendants. All San Franciscans are entitled to the same consideration of release and detention with measurable factors, regardless of their financial background.
Pre-Trial Release and Detention is a powerful tool of the criminal justice system intended to prioritize victim and public safety and the defendant's return to court. However, historically cash bail has disproportionately affected people of color and low-income communities. My office will use cash bail with the primary goal of keeping our community safe, while determining the most effective release and detention policy for each defendant.