Jane Kim on Criminal Justice Reform

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jane kim on criminal justice reformJane Kim understands it’s time to reform California’s criminal justice system and place greater emphasis on programs for successful reintegration to life after incarceration.

Jails cost taxpayers dearly — not only in the dollars the City spends building and operating them, but in the lost jobs, disrupted families and strain on neighborhoods that come from the widespread incarceration of low-risk individuals.

Our incarcerated population is now at its lowest level since 1982, thanks to smart policies such as evidence-based pretrial practices and alternate custody such as home detention and electronic monitoring. These policies not only spare the City the expense of jailing low-risk individuals, they save more by preventing recidivism and thereby increasing public safety.

In San Francisco, Jane Kim and the Board of Supervisors successfully turned down a grant to build a new prison in San Francisco. Instead, the City is asking the state to give San Francisco $80 million to instead build a mental health component to our criminal justice system and not put those who are already suffering in jail.

San Francisco is a forward-thinking city — one that models effective and progressive policies for the rest of the nation.

California has an opportunity to continue investing in innovative programs and policies that are models for the rest of the country — programs such as Cameo House, an alternative for pregnant offenders and those with children; adult probation pioneering one-stop center that provides training and support for successful reintegration to life after jail; and the district attorney’s alternative sentencing planner, whose work has decreased recidivism by 6 to 19 percent.

Mental Health and Substance Abuse

Jane believes it’s time to start investing in more mental health and substance abuse prevention programs. Much of San Francisco’s jail population suffers from severe mental illnesses, has a history of substance abuse and/or suffers from chronic homelessness and poverty.

Jane is deeply committed to building a residential mental health facility, substance abuse treatment programs – including drug needle exchange programs, wet house programs and safe injection sites – and more supportive housing.