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In her first twelve months, District Attorney Jenkins reshaped the office to address most important public safety issues while improving services for victims of crime and advancing smart criminal justice system reforms

San Francisco, CA – District Attorney Brooke Jenkins today released a one-year impact report highlighting accomplishments, new data, and progress since assuming office on July 8, 2022. In her first year, District Attorney Brooke Jenkins has worked to enhance public safety, stand-up for and serve victims of crime, while advancing smart reforms and fighting for justice in the courtroom.  The first year was marked with improvements to the office, which has been re-centered around successfully prosecuting cases and establishing new units to advance public safety. 

“While there is still more work to do, I am extremely proud of the tremendous progress our office has made to advance public safety, re-establish accountability, and provide justice in San Francisco during my first year in office,” said District Attorney Brooke Jenkins. “Our work to make San Francisco safer never ends, but residents and businesses now have a District Attorney that is committed to prosecuting crimes and fighting for each of our diverse neighborhoods. I am excited for the road ahead as we build on the foundation, we established this past year. I am grateful to the staff in the District Attorney’s Office for their undying commitment to serving and protecting the public.” 

Some significant achievements over the last year include:

  • Hiring 39 new attorneys with prosecutorial experience and promoting a diverse leadership team,
  • Creating multiple new units such as the Major Crimes, Vulnerable Victims, and Workers Rights to deal with the most complex cases in an efficient, ethical and professional manner,
  • Combatting open-air drug markets by securing three new narcotics attorneys through the city’s budget process and increasing our filing rate for felony narcotics cases when compared to the previous year,
  • Serving over 5,000 victims in 2023 that were related to a criminal incident, and advancing smart reforms such as re-implementing collaborative court guidelines, and
  • Creating the first-of-its kind Juvenile Review Team and advocated for progressive policies with our state delegation in Sacramento.

Advancing Public Safety Through Operational Improvements, Hiring and Office Management

District Attorney Jenkins has prioritized re-organizing and re-establishing a high-functioning office with experienced prosecutors to help promote public safety. This work includes:

  • Hired and promoted a diverse leadership team that brings over 230 years of prosecutorial experience to the office,
  • Hired 39 new attorneys following the exodus of experienced and talented attorneys who left under the previous administration,
  • New attorneys hired include some of the best legal minds from the Bay Area and beyond who have demonstrated deep commitments to advancing public safety and fighting for justice and victims.  Among the new attorneys hired we have someone who has successfully argued in front of the California Supreme Court, as well as another who prosecuted the first gun battle murder and worst mass murder cases in Alameda County.
  • In addition to the new attorneys, 10 new victim advocates and 8 new District Attorney Investigators were hired. 

District Attorney Jenkins has focused on creating new units and organizational structures that more efficiently dedicate resources to prosecute crimes and advance public safety.   

  • Created a new Major Crimes Team focusing on more serious and complex felony crimes like select armed robbery and attempted murder cases. These cases, which can be more time consuming and complicated, benefit from having an attorney assigned from the date of arraignment instead of shifting between different attorneys when transferring from preliminary hearing to trial setting. More experienced and senior prosecutors are now assigned to the Major Crimes Team.
  • Created a new Vulnerable Victims Unit (VVU) to oversee prosecutions of crimes perpetrated against vulnerable victims, and houses prosecutions of hate crimes and cases of violence against the elderly. The Vulnerable Victims Unit is composed of prosecutors who have experience in conducting sensitive and complex investigations and prosecutions.
  • Created a new Workers’ Rights Unit to investigate and prosecute violations committed by employers against workers. This innovative unit, one of the first of its kind in the nation, focuses on civil enforcement of workplace law through California’s Unfair Competition Law, as well as crimes such as wage theft and labor trafficking.
  • Created a new Narcotics prosecution team to aggressively prosecute narcotics cases and ensure that there are dedicated, experienced attorneys focusing on disrupting open-air drug dealing and holding suspected drug dealers accountable.

Holding Drug Dealers Accountable

District Attorney Jenkins has made combatting open-air drug markets and holding drug dealers accountable a top priority of her administration.  Shortly after taking office she revoked over 30 lenient plea offers made by the previous administration that had not been accepted and quickly got to work setting new policies and direction for how narcotics prosecutions would be handled by her administration.  

  • Between July 8, 2022 and July 7, 2023, the District Attorney’s Office has filed 819 felony narcotics cases (out of 915 cases presented / 90% filing rate) compared to 476 (out of 557 cases presented / 85% filing rate) for the same time period the previous year, which represents a 72% increase. [1]
  • Of cases filed between July 8, 2022 and July 7, 2023, 38 cases were convicted compared to 26 in the previous period, representing a 46% increase in convictions for felony narcotics cases, including a jury trial conviction for a felony narcotics case. 

Recognizing the extreme public safety risk posed by some suspected drug dealers, the District Attorney has sought pre-trial detention in the most egregious cases.  The District Attorney’s Office has also made clear that any suspected drug dealer who can be linked to a fatal overdose will be charged with murder, in lockstep with other prosecutors throughout the state who are stepping up to protect their communities.

  • 122 pre-trial detention motions have been sought in the most egregious narcotics cases because of the extreme public safety risk posed by suspected drug dealers.  Of the 122 detention motions filed, the court granted 15, denied 27 and 80 are pending. 
  • Currently there are 517 individuals with open bench warrants who failed to appear for narcotics cases who were released by the court. 144 of these individuals in bench warrant status have more than one open case.  On average, these bench warrants have been out for more than 30 months.  In the most egregious cases, one defendant with an open bench warrant has five cases pending and five defendants each have four pending cases further demonstrating why these detention motions are essential to public safety and accountability.

Fewer narcotics cases have been resolved via diversion as we have limited the practice to narcotics users and focused on ensuring there is appropriate accountability and consequences for suspected drug dealers.  Reserving collaborative courts for people with substance use disorders, and not suspected drug dealers who peddle death, is critical to restoring accountability and the public’s faith in the criminal justice system.

  • Between July 8, 2022 and July 7, 2023, only two cases filed and resolved during the time period were due to the defendant successfully completing diversion compared to 24 in the previous time period. 
  • When reviewing cases filed at any point-in-time, but were resolved between July 8, 2022, and July 7, 2023, which includes cases filed by previous administrations, 93 cases were diverted compared to 149 in the previous time period.  

In addition to more judiciously using collaborative courts, District Attorney Brooke Jenkins established a drug use and possession citation bundling policy to help steer users into treatment. 

  • Individuals with bundled charges are referred to the Community Justice Center, a unique court that works to connect the community to the criminal justice system and addresses issues that have led to a participant’s criminal justice involvement. 
  • The bundling policy was first announced in September of 2022 with a five-citation threshold. This has since been lowered to two-citations after clear and consistent feedback from community members across the city in light of the mounting number of fatal overdoses.

Addressing Violent Crime

Ensuring public safety and addressing violent crime has also been a key priority for District Attorney Jenkins. 

  • The office saw an increase of 10% in felony violent crime cases presented (2,692 versus 2,449) and an increase of 5% in the number of cases filed (1,372 versus 1,303).
  • Felony assault is the largest category of cases received and second to narcotics in number of cases filed. 
  • Of the 242 violent crimes cases that were filed and resolved since last July, 70% were convicted compared to 50% during the previous time period that saw 268 cases both filed and resolved.  Only 10 violent crimes cases were resolved through a successful completion of diversion this year compared to 48 in the previous period, representing a 79% difference.
    • Jenkins convicted 67% of felony assault cases filed since last July, compared to 48% in the previous time period.  8 felony assault cases were resolved via successful completion of diversion compared to 26 in the previous period, a 69% difference.
    • Jenkins convicted 72% of felony robbery cases filed since last July compared to 60% in the previous time period.
    • Jenkins convicted 76% of felony domestic violence cases both filed and resolved since last July compared to 41% in the previous time period.  Only one felony domestic violence case resolved via successful completion of diversion by Jenkins compared to 18 in the previous time period, a 94% difference.

Addressing Retail Theft and Property Crime

Addressing retail theft has also been a top priority for the District Attorney who worked closely with the San Francisco Police to ensure that there is accountability and appropriate consequences. 

  • The office saw a slight dip in the number of felony burglary (PC 459) cases presented (659 versus 688) but a similar filing rate of 82%.  For the 137 commercial burglary cases both filed and resolved since July 8, 2022 Jenkins convicted 56% compared to 49% in the previous time period.
  • The office received 65% more felony organized retail theft cases this year than in the prior period and filed 57% more cases than in the previous period (11 versus 7).  One organized retail theft was both filed and convicted since Jenkins took office, compared to two in the previous period, neither of which were convicted.
  • The office received 69% more misdemeanor petty theft cases (PC 490.2) since last July than in the previous period and filed twice as many cases than it did in the previous period (71 versus 34).  For the 51 petty theft cases both filed and resolved, Jenkins convicted 18 and diverted 11 compared to 36 cases filed and resolved in the previous period with only 7 convictions and 16 diversions.  
  • The office saw a slight increase in the number of felony motor vehicle theft cases presented (453 versus 438) and an increase in the number of cases filed by 7%.  For the 54 motor vehicle theft cases presented Jenkins convicted 74% compared to 57% in the previous time period.

Supporting Victims of Crime

The Victim Services Division (VSD) is an essential part of the office’s mission to promote justice and safety. Victims of crime deserve both immediate and long-term access to resources, opportunities to heal, and solutions to individual needs, as well as support in the pursuit of justice in the courtroom.  Members of the VSD team speak Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, and several other languages.  Providing aid and help to victims of crime and their families is a key priority of District Attorney Jenkins administration, and some of the accomplishments include:

  • In 2022, the VSD provided services to over 9,000 victims of violent crime and so far this year has provided needed services to over 5,000 individuals.  VSD provides services to victims of crime regardless if an arrest has been made or criminal charges were filed. 
  • To date in 2023, over 2700 individuals served were related to a criminal incident not presented to the District Attorney’s Office.  Over 400 individuals served were related to a criminal incident not filed by the District Attorney’s Office. 
  • To date in 2023, over 700 individuals were served with in-person crisis intervention including safety planning support.  Over 200 received in-person criminal advocacy support/accompaniment services to proceedings and 22 individuals received relocation assistance. 
  • District Attorney Jenkins established a new Vulnerable Victims Community Engagement Unit to provide specialized services for and outreach to vulnerable victims.

Advancing Smart Reforms 

District Attorney Jenkins is committed to advancing and implementing smart criminal justice reforms to make the system more equitable and fair for all, and includes:

  • Re-implemented the Collaborative Court Guidelines to ensure that those who are entering the collaborative courts are eligible and receiving services and treatment with a level of accountability;
  • Referrals to CJC have declined most significantly as drug dealers with large amounts of illegal narcotics are no longer being referred to that program; we expect to see an increase in referrals as bundling policy takes effect and more people meet the two citation thresholds are referred.  To date, three individuals have been referred to CJC as a result of the bundling policy.
  • Created a first-of-its-kind Juvenile Review Team to analyze and determine when in a limited number of circumstances, it’s appropriate to request a transfer hearing for a minor to be tried as an adult. Having a team review and make a recommendation to the DA ensures a thorough, fair, and just process for all the parties involved. To date no requests have been made by our office to try a juvenile as an adult. 
  • Recognized the problem with cash bail and maintained office’s position to not seek cash bail.  In effort to protect public safety began to more assertively seek pre-trial detention for suspected drug dealers in the most egregious cases.   
  • Created the office’s first ever Youth & Young Adult Services Division.  The goal is to advance violence and crime prevention and violence reduction strategies, while partnering with community stakeholders, business leaders, and city agencies to provide services, programs and resources tailored for youth and young adults.  The division director has been hired and a coordinator is expected to be hired this Fall; and
  • Re-initiated a partnership with the San Francisco Unified School District to support both staff and students with prevention and intervention strategies using educational assemblies and positive mentoring opportunities.

In addition to implementing smart reforms, District Attorney Jenkins is actively supporting progressive policies in Sacramento to support our work locally.  Some of these bills include:

  • Advocating for San Francisco’s Be The Jury Pilot Program which raised juror pay from $15 to $100 per day.  Proud to support Assembly Bill 881 (Asm. Ting), currently under consideration by the California State Legislature, to ensure equal access for all community members to serve on juries regardless of income strengthens our criminal justice system and ensures that verdicts represent our communities and values.  I urge the California Legislature to pass this bill.
  • Supporting Assembly Bill 1226 (Asm. Haney) which would ensure that children and families of an incarcerated person are able to stay connected to their loved ones by requiring the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations to place an inmate as close as possible to their child’s home. This bill would facilitate better contact during incarceration, which data shows ultimately results in lower rates of parole violation and recidivism.
  • Advocating for Senate Bill 474 (Sen. Becker), which will protect incarcerated Californians and their families from unnecessary additional expenses related to prison canteen goods. By restricting markup for prison canteen goods to 10%, SB 474 (Basic Affordable Supplies for Incarcerated Californians Act) will alleviate cost pressures and provide greater access to affordable food, hygiene goods, and health products.