San Francisco Sentencing Commission Releases 2013 Annual Report

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 24, 2014

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


SAN FRANCISCO, CA – District Attorney George Gascón announced the release
of the San Francisco Sentencing Commission 2013 Annual Report today which
includes two state and three local recommendations.

"This Commission has thoughtfully put forward recommendations that can
positively impact our community, our state and our economy,” said District
Attorney George Gascón. “By looking into implementing these changes we can
truly modernize our justice system to meet the needs of the 21st century.”


In 2013, the San Francisco Sentencing Commission completed the first full
year of hearings: four meetings were held and included a diverse array of
expert presentations on Realignment, Sentencing, Drug Reform, Restorative
Justice and Victim Services. The Sentencing Commission utilized expert
testimony and research presented at the 2013 meetings to develop the
following five recommendations:
   1)   Creation of a state level Sentencing Commission
   2)   Change state penal code to reduce penalty of drug possession for
      personal use from a felony to a misdemeanor
   3)   Establish annual San Francisco sentencing data review and invest in
      adequate support services
   4)   Expand resources for alternative sentencing strategies
   5)   Invest in pre-booking and pre-charging diversion programs for drug
      offenses

The San Francisco Sentencing Commission is committed to pursuing an
effective, fair and efficient sentencing system for San Francisco that
enhances public safety and creates a livable, sustainable San Francisco
community.

“Because sentencing strategies are not consistent across the state of
California, criminal justice agencies and social service partners have a
collective responsibility to ensure that individuals receive appropriate
sentences and do not re-victimize our communities,” said District Attorney
George Gascón.

The Sentencing Commission was created in 2011 and 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); Jerel McCrary, 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 Allen Nance; Sheriff Mirkarimi; Police Chief Greg Suhr; Barbara
Garcia, Department of Public Health); and a representative from Superior
Court.


For more information about the Sentencing Commission, go to
www.sfdistrictattorney.org




(See attached file: 2013_Annual Report.pdf)


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