Truancy Prevention & Intervention
Nearly 5,000 San Francisco students are habitually or chronically truant each year, with over 40 percent in elementary school. In San Francisco, 94% of homicide victims under age 25 are high school dropouts. The links between truancy and crime are clear. In 2006, the District Attorney’s office partnered with the San Francisco Unified School District to reduce truancy, resulting in a specialized Truancy Court that combines court monitoring with family services. The School District and the Department of Children and Family Services are on hand to resolve underlying issues such as unstable housing, substance abuse, or neglect. Since the program began, the number of chronically truant students in SFUSD has declined by 37%. Click here to read more about the SFDA's efforts to reduce truancy.
"Make it Right" Restorative Community Conferencing
Restorative justice offers an alternative approach to traditional prosecution. Put most simply, it is “a process to involve, to the extent possible, those who have a stake in a specific offense and to collectively identify and address harms, needs, and obligations, in order to heal and put things as right as possible." The SFDA, in partnership with our juvenile justice system stakeholders, has launched "Make it Right," an alternative to traditional prosecution, in which young people and their victims, each with their supporters (including law enforcement, youth services, schools, coaches, parents/caregivers and others) come together in a dialogue to develop a plan for the young person to repair harm, address root causes, and make amends. The young person has a six-month period in which to follow through on his/her agreements – and if successful, the case is not prosecuted. "Make it Right" is a collaboration of the SFDA, Community Works West, Huckleberry Youth Programs and the National Council on Crime and Delinquency. Make it Right's pilot year of operation is made possible through funding from the San Francisco Department of Children, Youth and Their Families.
SF-ACT is an innovative treatment and collaborative court program for probation-involved youth with ongoing substance abuse issues. Youth attend a joint educational and behavioral health program at Civic Center Secondary High School, including on-site family therapy, home visits, substance abuse counseling, case management and academic support. SF-ACT is a collaboration of the SFDA, San Francisco Unified School District, San Francisco Superior Court, Juvenile Probation the Public Defender, Public Health and the Department of Children, Youth and Their Families.