Nov 6, 2015

KQED's Forum: California's Prop. 47 One Year In

San Francisco district attorney and former chief of police George Gascón was on KQED's Forum on Thursday discussing the impacts of California's Proposition 47 one year after implementation. The sentencing reform law passed in 2014 with 64% of voter support.

Other guests included: Director of the Stanford Law School's Justice Advocacy Project (formerly Three Strikes Project) Michael Romano and San Mateo County district attorney Steve Wagstaff.

Listen here:

Oct 15, 2015

The Atlantic: "How Treatment Courts Can Reduce Crime"

This article published in The Atlantic last month, "How Treatment Courts Can Reduce Crime," emphasizes the need for treatment courts to expand eligibility criteria do what they do best: "routing people away from prison as opposed to sending people whose criminality is treatable behind bars."


"Research shows that treatment courts significantly reduce crime, and the best treatment courts reduce crime by up to 40 percent. One study showed that this drop lasts up to 14 years. Moreover, these courts diminish drug and alcohol abuse, improve family relationships, raise employment rates and incomes—all positive changes reaching far beyond the rap sheet alone.

"Better yet, they’re a good investment – recent numbers show that for every dollar spent on drug courts, the state saves $2.21 in reduced criminal justice costs. When drug courts take on a bigger challenge, they get a greater reward—a $3.36 return on investment for every dollar invested in treatment for serious, high-risk offenders. The savings—after considering how much money is saved by reduced hospital visits and costs of future victimization—go up to $27 for every $1 invested in treatment court. Looking at it on a per-person basis, every person treated in a drug treatment court saves the state between $3,000 and $13,000 going forward. Some research suggests that 75 percent of drug court graduates never get arrested again.

Sep 3, 2015

MSNBC: "Drug courts get second look"

Last week, MSNBC reported on the growing bipartisan support for drug courts and other "problem-solving" criminal justice alternatives. "With criminal justice reform now an issue for both the Republican and Democratic side of the 2016 presidential campaign, drug courts are increasingly being viewed as a viable alternative to mandatory jail time."

Judge Jo Ann Ferdinand in her courtroom at the Brooklyn Treatment Court, in Brooklyn, N.Y. (Photo by John Trotter for MSNBC)
Judge Jo Ann Ferdinand in her courtroom at the Brooklyn Treatment Court, in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Photo by John Trotter for MSNBC

As reported, President Barack Obama has expressed his support for collaborative courts: "We should invest in alternatives to prison like drug courts and treatment and probation programs which ultimately can save taxpayers thousands of dollars each year.”

The article states that, according to the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, "about 75% of those who complete drug court are not rearrested while as many of 70% of people released from traditional prison do reoffend. Over a million people have gone through drug court since 1989 and an estimated 150,000 people are participating in drug court at any given time. NADCP also estimates that for every dollar invested in drug courts, taxpayers save as much as $3.36 in additional criminal justice costs."

Click here to read the full article. 

Aug 20, 2015

SF Collaborative Courts Welcomes New Analyst

The San Francisco Superior Court welcomes new Program & Policy Analyst Kristine King to the Collaborative Courts team!

Kristine has extensive experience in criminal justice, social services, data management, and program evaluation. Before this position, Kristine worked as a Data Analyst at Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse in San Mateo. Previously, she was the Violence Against Women Crimes Analyst in the Domestic Violence Unit of the Reno Police Department.

Kristine is proficient in collecting, compiling, and analyzing agency and client data for agency evaluation and grant reporting. She has a Master's degree in Criminal Justice and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice/Addiction Treatment from the University of Nevada.