Substance Use and Mental Health
A significant number of justice-involved individuals in San Francisco suffer from substance abuse disorder (SUD) and/or have mental health (MH) needs. For example, as of 2015, approximately 75% of the 3,854 adults on probation were in need of SUD or MH treatment. Of the 13,544 people incarcerated in SF County Jail in 2015, 36% had contact with Jail Behavioral Health Services.
Data shows that there is a strong correlation between individuals receiving the services they need and lower recidivism rates. The challenge, however, has been making such services available to those that need them in a timely manner. Currently, there is a 6-week wait for residential SUD treatment, a 5-day way for detox, and a 2-4 week wait for residential MH treatment. Individuals in custody can wait up to four months for MH treatment.
As a step towards a more effective and equitable public safety model, one that aims to reduce recidivism by interrupting the relationship between substance abuse and/or mental health and crime, the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office has led numerous efforts to reprioritize investment into more treatment services. The office’s efforts include: