Inaugural Meeting of Sentencing Commission Held Today

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

CONTACT: Stephanie Ong Stillman, DA Gascón’s Office, (415) 553-1167
ADA Alex Bastian, DA Gascón’s Office, (415) 553-1931

DA George Gascón Outlined Goals to Reduce Recidivism While Prioritizing Public Safety

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – District Attorney George Gascón was joined by members of San Francisco’s Sentencing Commission today to outline goals for the Commission. The District Attorney envisions an effective, fair and efficient sentencing system for San Francisco that enhances public safety and creates a livable San Francisco.
“I see this body proposing real change to Sacramento and implementing changes in our own local practices within the latitude of current law,” said District Attorney George Gascón. “We must rise to the challenge; take on the serious policy changes that are needed to do our job effectively.”
The District Attorney emphasized that San Francisco has demonstrated excellence in the use of criminal justice strategies that result in focusing resources on the most violent offenders, holding offenders accountable, and restoring victims and communities. He pointed to the fact that our jails are at the lowest population in decades, while other county jails are overflowing.
“When we are thoughtful in our response to crime and set the right consequences for those responsible we preserve the safety of our communities.” said District Attorney George Gascón. He mentioned that it is a critical time for criminal justice reform especially in light of the future of three strikes reform and the replacement of the death penalty, initiatives on the November ballot.

Over the course of the next two years the Sentencing Commission will evaluate effective and appropriate sentences for the most violent offenders, explore opportunities for drug law reform, examine inconstancies in the penal code related to realignment sentencing, and define the most important factors that reduce recidivism.
The ordinance, was spearheaded by District Attorney George Gascón and in partnership with Chief Wendy Still of the Adult Probation Department, Supervisor Scott Wiener, and Supervisor Malia Cohen. It was created in response to realignment, a state law that took effect on October 1, 2011 that puts counties in charge of the majority of criminal offenders, instead of the state prison.

Sentencing Commission members are: Karen Roye, Department of Child Support Services (Re-entry Council Appointee); Minouche Kandel, Bay Area Legal Aid (Non-profit organization chosen by the Family Violence Council); Catherine McCracken (Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice); Theshia Naidoo, Drug Policy Alliance (Board of Supervisors Appointee); Steven Rafael (Academic Researcher Appointed by the Mayor); District Attorney George Gascón; Public Defender Jeff Adachi; Adult Probation Chief Wendy Still; Juvenile Probation Chief Bill Sifferman; Sheriff Hennessy; Police Chief Greg Suhr; Barbara Garcia, Department of Public Health); and a representative from Superior Court.