Sentencing Commission

Sentencing CommissionThe San Francisco Sentencing Commission, an initiative of the District Attorney’s Office, was created through local legislation to analyze sentencing patterns and outcomes, to advise the Mayor, Board of Supervisors, and other City departments on the best approaches to reduce recidivism, and to make recommendations for sentencing reforms that advance public safety and utilize best practices in criminal justice. Ultimately through this work the commission will make recommendations that establish a sentencing system that retains meaningful judicial discretion, avoids unwarranted disparity, recognizes the most efficient and effective use of correctional resources, and provides a meaningful array of sentencing options. The Sentencing Commission priorities are to:

  • Evaluate effective and appropriate sentences for the most violent offenders.
  • Explore opportunities for drug law reform.
  • Examine inconsistencies in the penal code related to realignment sentencing.
  • Identify and define the most important factors that reduce recidivism.

Click here for Meeting Schedules, Agendas and Materials, Reports and Relevant Publications.

    Authorizing Legislation

    The Sentencing Commission was created County Ordinance 10-12 which amended the San Francisco Administrative Code by adding Article 25, Sections 5.250 through 5.250-3. The Sentencing Commission is an advisory body to the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors. The powers and duties of the Sentencing Commission include:

    • Review and assess sentencing approaches locally and compare to other jurisdictions.
    • Review and assess the City’s capacity and utilization of services and alternatives to incarceration throughout the criminal justice continuum, including pre-adjudication and post-release.
    • Review and assess the Justice Reinvestment Initiative recommendations to invest in best practices to reduce recidivism.
    • Develop a recommended system of uniform definitions of recidivism for City departments to track and report on the outcomes of various criminal sentences and City programs meant to aid in reducing recidivism.
    • Develop data collection standards and recidivism reporting standards.
    • Develop and recommend department specific goals to reduce recidivism for the City departments represented on the Sentencing Commission, and other relevant City departments. 
    • Make recommendations regarding changes that should be made to the Penal Code and any other state laws to remove barriers to effective implementation of best practices in criminal justice.
    • Facilitate trainings on best practices in sentencing for various criminal justice agencies. 
    • Share information and work in collaboration with the Reentry Council, established pursuant to the San Francisco Administrative Code, and the Community Corrections Partnership, as established by the California Penal Code.

    List of member seats:

    District Attorneys' Office, Public Defender’s Office, Adult Probation Department, Juvenile Probation Department, Sheriff’s Department, Police Department, Department of Public Health, Reentry Council, Superior Court, Member of a nonprofit org serving victims chosen by the Family Violence Council, Member of non-profit org working with ex-offenders chosen by the Reentry Council, Sentencing Expert chosen by the Board of Supervisors, and an Academic Researcher with expertise in data analysis appointed by the Mayor.

    The membership of the commission was developed to ensure representation from city and county partners directly involved in the criminal justice system and those who come in contact with it. In addition to this practical and service experience the commission includes experts in sentencing and statistical analysis. These are essential components to the commission membership and will contribute to the development of sustainable improvements to our sentencing practices. While this membership will serve as a core of the Sentencing Commission’s work we will invite broader participation to present to and inform the proceedings of the commission.

    San Francisco Sentencing Commission Membership Roster As of January 2015

    Agencies & Bodies  Member
    District Attorneys' Office George Gascón, District Attorney
    Public Defender Jeff Adachi, Public Defender
    Adult Probation Karen Fletcher, Adult Probation Chief
    Juvenile Probation Allen Nance, Juvenile Probation Chief
    Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, Sheriff
    Police Greg Suhr, Police Chief
    Department of Public Health Barbara Garcia, Director
    Reentry Council Karen Roye, Director Child Support Services
    Superior Court* Presiding Judge
    Member of a nonprofit org
    serving victims chosen by the

    Family Violence Council
    Jerel McCrary
    Attorney
    Member of non-profit org
    working with ex-offenders chosen by
    the
    Reentry Council
    Joanna Hernandez
    Re-Entry Pod Program Monitor 
    Five Keys Charter Schools
    Sentencing Expert chosen by
    the Board of Supervisors
    Theshia Naidoo
    Senior Staff Attorney
    Drug Policy Alliance
    Academic Researcher with
    expertise in data analysis appointed
    by the Mayor
    Steven Raphael PhD
    Professor
    Goldman School of Public Policy
    University of California Berkeley

    *Invited

    Meetings

    The Sentencing Commission has held three meetings since formation. Full agendas and meeting minutes are available at http://www.sfdistrictattorney.org/sentencing-commission-relevant-documents. Next Meeting:

    December 9, 2015

    10-12 a.m.
    Hall of Justice
    850 Bryant Street, Room 322
    DA Law Library