San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins ordered three individuals to a “collaborative” court for low-level drug possession charges under a new initiative, but none have appeared for their court dates, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Friday.
The three individuals — who the Chronicle did not identify — were referred to San Francisco’s Community Justice Center (CJC) via a program that Jenkins’ office announced in September to help those with drug problems “access treatment” and “save lives,” but now all three have warrants out for their arrest, the outlet reported. The program has been criticized by the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office, which has argued that drug users, who may struggle with mental illness, homelessness and other challenges, cannot be forced into treatment.
“Enforcement as a mechanism to get people into treatment is new for us and will take time to catch on, but we are committed to doing our part to help address the crisis we are seeing on our streets,” Jenkins said Wednesday, according to the Chronicle. “It is our hope that people struggling with substance-abuse disorder get connected to community-based care without law enforcement interventions, but (we’re) also cognizant of the fact that this is an existing resource that may help some.”
Democratic San Francisco Mayor London Breed has encouraged a crackdown by Jenkins’ office on drug users, a policy that led one white city lawmaker to accuse Breed, who is black, of racism against “black, brown and indigenous communities.” Jenkins has adopted a generally harder-on-crime stance than her predecessor, Chesa Boudin, who was recalled by voters last summer amid out-of-control crime, but crime rates — particularly for violent crime and robberies — have continued to climb in 2023. (RELATED: Newly-Elected San Francisco DA Promises Crackdown On Rampant Crime And ‘Lawless’ Landscape)
At the same time, Jenkins has eased restrictions for individuals to be referred to the CJC, which initially required someone to have five drug citations before they were referred to the alternative court, the Chronicle reported. In December, the DA lowered the requirement to three such citations, and it is poised to further fall to two citations on July 3, following community feedback.
The office of DA Jenkins did not immediately respond to a Daily Caller News Foundation request for comment.
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