Gascón Outlines Plan to Ramp Up Neighborhood Prosecutor Initiative

Written by FCJ Editor. Posted in Crime, News, Politics

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Published on August 11, 2012 with 4 Comments

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón. File photo by Luke Thomas.

From the Office of San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón

August 11, 2012

At his quarterly neighborhood newspaper briefing Friday, District Attorney George Gascón announced plans to ramp up the Neighborhood Prosecutor Initiative as part of his vision to make San Francisco the safest large city in the country.

“Neighborhood Prosecutors play an integral role in making our communities safer by working with community stakeholders to address and solve neighborhood concerns,” said District Attorney George Gascón. “By having stronger partnerships with the community, we can better address neighborhood and citywide public safety issues and improve the quality of life for everyone.”

The District Attorney’s Neighborhood Prosecution Initiative works by bringing the District Attorney’s Office into the community to facilitate the resolution of crimes that diminish the quality of life for local residents. Neighborhood Prosecutors are assigned to each Police District. They review misdemeanor and infraction cases and determine eligibility for Neighborhood Court, increase neighborhood cohesion, and increase communication and collaboration between the DA’s office, the community, criminal justice partners, and community based organizations.

Neighborhood Courts is an alternative to Traffic Court and Criminal Court. Instead of charging cases for criminal prosecution, the District Attorney’s Office can refer certain misdemeanor and infraction cases to Neighborhood Court and a panel of volunteer adjudicators will hear the case. Individuals cited for nonviolent offenses by police such as drinking in public, vandalism and petty theft are pre-screened by a Neighborhood Prosecutor to determine whether the case is suitable for neighborhood courts. Offenders who choose neighborhood courts agree to abide by the prescribed outcomes that focus on restoring both the community and the offender. Offenders who are successful in meeting the terms avoid having a conviction on their criminal record. There are ten Neighborhood Courts across the city.


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  1. Mr. Ryan,

        Gascon and his counterpart across the aisle (Jeff Adachi) work through some 26,000 cases a year.    Cooperation between the two offices has never been better.    The DA isn’t trying to set a record of convicting 100% of cases charged.     He’s trying to be the first to succeed at creating a lower level neighborhood centered justice venue to direct misdemeanor cases to.    Thataway you don’t clog up the Superior Courts system.    

    Toss Jeff’s chief, Matt Gonzalez into the mix and lower level defendants are well represented.

    Keep in mind that Adachi personally represented these clients in Newsom’s ‘show’ court.

    Go Giants!


  2. I reject the notion that San Francisco is a community where “quality of life crimes” should receive any attention, as well as that any approach to quality of life crime has any impact on community safety.  Yesterday in LA a man was shot to death after police harassed him for smoking marijuana.  Is that the sort of attention to quality of life crime Gascon wants to bring to SF?

    Here’s a suggestion for improving the quality of life in SF: get rid of Gascon altogether.

  3. Good idea,

        Old idea.   Oh yeah.   Ask David Chiu about his time as a ‘judge’ in a similar neighborhood court situation a few years back.    Problem was that the DA at that time (Hallinan) wouldn’t send them cases.    Think he heard 2 or 3 cases in 2 years?

    You did this in LA huh, George?    Kinda recall reading about it and about it being quite successful.  SF is open to anything good from LA except the Dodgers.

    You really want to have an impact?   

    One word.


    And two more words.

    Free Parking.

    Trust me on this.

    I have a masters in behavior modification.

    Pair up  minor offenders with qualified parking offenders.

    Take a bum to lunch and get your tickets forgiven.

    Changes behavior.

    Deep water.

    Wear a life vest.

    Go Giants!


  4.  If this is an alternative who chooses it, the defendant or the State?   I don’t like it, people in SF are too selfish, narcissistic and far  too mean to one another to be trusted adjudicating like this. I think particularly the ones that would volunteer to be judges would be the one’s that most want to force others to follow their own beliefs.  At least the official courts have a certain level of fairness built in that this would not.  Also I believe it will be used to funnel illegal immigrants to so that they have don’t have to be charged.