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:
- Creation of a state level Sentencing Commission
- Change state penal code to reduce penalty of drug possession for personal use from a felony to a misdemeanor
- Establish annual San Francisco sentencing data review and invest in adequate support services
- Expand resources for alternative sentencing strategies
- 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.