San Francisco: City Leaders Join Together to Announce Two New Initiatives to Prevent Recidivism and Gun Violence
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San Francisco, CA — Today, San Francisco Mayor London N. Breed, District Attorney Chesa Boudin, Police Chief Bill Scott, Sheriff Paul Miyamoto, and Adult Probation Chief Karen Fletcher announced two initiatives to prevent repeat offenses and gun violence in San Francisco. The first is an agreement among the justice partners to implement coordinated efforts to prevent individuals from committing repeat offenses in San Francisco. The second is an initiative is aimed at preventing gun violence as part of an effort with the San Francisco Police Department and San Francisco's Street Violence Intervention Program.

"To confront the public safety challenges we face in San Francisco, we all need to acknowledge where we are falling short and where we can work together to do more," said Mayor Breed. "Whether it's dealing with the challenges around people committing repeat offenses and ending up back on our streets, or the struggles we are having with gun violence in many parts of our City, we need creative and collaborative solutions. I appreciate the leaders of our public safety departments coming together to focus on keeping our City and our residents safe."

Coordinating Responses to Prevent Repeat Offenses

The first initiative, which is a partnership between Sheriff Miyamoto, Police Chief Scott, District Attorney Boudin, and Adult Probation Chief Fletcher, will coordinate efforts to prevent individuals from committing repeat offenses in San Francisco. As each of these agencies plays a critical role in public safety in the City, each agency has committed to improved communication to support swift and coordinated responses designed to promote public safety.

Included in this coordinated effort are plans to:
  • Develop communication tools across agencies to inform one another of identified persons who have committed repeated, recent offenses in the same category of crime;
  • Ensure that when persons are booked into jail, their probation, parole, and/or federal probation status as well as the existence of any warrants will be immediately confirmed and communicated to justice partners;
  • Ensure that every booking notification is reviewed and evaluated;
  • Establish verification processes to ensure that holds are placed each and every time someone is arrested while on probation or parole;
  • Communicate across agencies regarding any contextual information or specific issues that may warrant consideration for detention;
  • Provide updated information to the Court regarding any previous noncompliance with court orders regarding conditions of release, including any failures to comply with electronic monitoring; and
  • Establish communication procedures both to and from justice partners regarding any decisions to refer a case to another agency and any updates as to actions taken by that agency.

In addition to this effort, Mayor Breed has arranged to provide additional staffing, including two additional prosecutors to ensure enhanced interagency communication and coordination.

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"In January, I convened a meeting of justice partners to begin the discussion of how we can better communicate to ensure that we are all coordinating our efforts rather than working in silos," said District Attorney Boudin. "I am so pleased that we have all come together to commit to this collaborative approach to promoting public safety."

"These initiatives address immediate concerns on balancing community safety with a fair and equitable justice system," said Sheriff Miyamoto. "Our collaboration on connecting processes among public safety agencies leverages the collective experience of the City's public safety leaders. Our deputies will continue to communicate with our criminal justice partners regarding the status of the people in our custody.  Ultimately, we all want the community to be safer, and hold offenders accountable by offering opportunities to change behaviors while in the justice system. Holding people who reoffend in jail both protects public safety and provides the people in our custody with supportive programs and tailored treatment, increasing opportunities for a successful reentry."

Addressing Gun Violence through Targeted Interventions

The second initiative is a gun violence intervention program. San Francisco is receiving a $1.5 million California Violence Intervention and Prevention Grant over the next three years to help reduce shootings, break the cycle of recidivism, and to build trust between the community and the Police Department.

The program will start by identifying individuals who are most at risk of either engaging in gun violence or falling victim to gun violence and will connect them with San Francisco's Street Violence Intervention Program (SVIP) to receive services and support. SVIP is on the ground, in the community, working with at-risk individuals by providing mentorship, guidance, and a path forward that does not involve violence. SVIP engages not only with the individual, but with their family and their support network to get them out of situations that can lead to violence and instead set them on a path to success.

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The strategy that will be used in San Francisco draws explicitly from the Oakland Ceasefire strategy, the Boston Reentry Initiative, and the Chicago Project Safe Neighborhoods, all of which have been rigorously evaluated and found to be successful at significantly reducing severe violence and reducing the re-arrest rate among participants as well.

Gun violence by the numbers in San Francisco:
  • 85% of those impacted by gun violence are Black and Latino men, even though they comprise less than 10% of the City's total population.
  • 29% of all violent firearm crimes in 2019 took place in San Francisco's Bayview, Potrero Hill, and Visitacion Valley neighborhoods, with a quarter of all the City's homicides for the past five years occurring there.
  • Those at the highest risk of gun violence in San Francisco are primarily Black and Latino men, ages 18-35, with justice-involvement and social connections to each other.

"Although our criminal justice system comprises multiple agencies with different responsibilities, Mayor Breed's initiatives rightly recognize the shared responsibility we have to forge the best informed, most mutually cooperative partnerships possible to keep our City safe," said Chief of Police Bill Scott. "We're grateful to Mayor Breed for her leadership to better coordinate San Francisco's approach to break the cycle of recidivism by prolific offenders and stem the tide of gun violence. We're also thankful to District Attorney Chesa Boudin, Sheriff Paul Miyamoto and Chief Karen Fletcher for partnering on these efforts."

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