Wednesday, December 19, 2007 · by Richard
San Francisco, CA – In a letter addressed to the Board of Supervisors, the Public Defender’s Office, the ACLU of Northern California (“ACLU-NC”) and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights (“LCCR”) requested today that the City enact a policy to ensure that all persons named in San Francisco gang injunctions are given the opportunity to be removed from the injunctions when appropriate.
The organizations propose a formalized process that would allow affected persons to make their request for removal from the gang injunctions directly to the City. Currently, individuals are required to go to court if they wish to seek removal from the injunctions.
“We want to ensure that all non-gang members named in current and future gang injunctions are given the opportunity to regain their freedom,” said Public Defender Jeff Adachi. “The procedures currently available to these individuals are insufficient and we believe that a clear and accessible administrative process would ensure that San Francisco does not impose lifetime restrictions on people who are not engaged in gang activity.”
The Public Defender’s Office, the ACLU-NC and LCCR advocate for a procedure that would require the City Attorney to periodically review the list of affected individuals to determine who is no longer an “active gang member.” It would also require the City to notify enjoined individuals of their right to make a case for removal directly to the City. In both instances, the organizations recommend that the City go to Court and support the removal of those individuals who are not active gang members.
The mission of the Public Defender’s office is to provide vigorous, effective, competent and ethical legal representation to persons who are accused of crime and cannot afford to hire an attorney. Established in 1921, the San Francisco Public Defender has a long, proud history of providing top-notch representation to its clients, and championing programs that help people turn their lives around.