S.F.'s new community court opens [excerpt]
Heather Knight, SF Chronicle
Thursday, March 5, 2009
A Superior Court commissioner wearing a black robe and wielding a gavel sat behind a big, wooden bench. District attorneys and public defenders stood at the ready. The U.S. and California flags hung in the front of the room.
The only thing missing on the first day of operation for San Francisco's Community Justice Center were the defendants. None of the five people arrested in the Tenderloin over the past week and assigned to come to court showed up.
Still, it was progress for the controversial court, proposed by Mayor Gavin Newsom after a 2007 trip to a similar court in New York City. Back then, he said a court to prosecute the low-level crimes that blight the Tenderloin and South of Market neighborhoods would be up and running within months.