The City Needs a Comprehensive Reentry Program

Today, more than 500 community leaders, community and faith-based service providers and formerly incarcerated men and women will gather for San Francisco’s third annual re-entry summit, “Reentry Works.” Re-entry is a term that describes the reintegration of former prisoners back into their community. This year’s summit focuses on the greatest challenge faced by many of […]

San Francisco City Officials and Residents to Tackle Prisoner Reentry and Employment at Summit

San Francisco, CA – On Monday September 29, 2008, Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, Public Defender Jeff Adachi, District Attorney Kamala Harris, and Sheriff Michael Hennessey will convene at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts for the largest reentry summit in Northern California. The Summit was organized to tackle the problem of parolee recidivism, a main […]

Senator Barack Obama Issues Statement Supporting Prisoner Reentry Summit

In a welcome statement for the Third Annual Prisoner Reentry Summit, Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) commended San Francisco city leaders for their “innovate work to reduce recidivism” and pledged to create opportunities for former prisoners if elected president.

Juvenile cases are closed for a reason

In the several articles published last week concerning undocumented youths in the juvenile justice system, Chronicle reporter Jaxon Van Derbeken referenced statements taken from a confidential written motion filed by one of my attorneys. In the articles, several statements taken from these filings were framed in quotations. This gave readers the false impression that Deputy Public Defender Lisa Katz, who is representing the minor, spoke with your reporter regarding her client’s case.

California Selected for MacArthur Foundation Juvenile Indigent Defense Action Network

California has been selected as one of four sites nationally to participate in the Models for Change Juvenile Indigent Defense Action Network. The initiative, supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, is aimed at developing innovative solutions and strategies to better address the legal needs of youth who come into contact with the juvenile justice system.

Public Defender’s Office Co-Sponsors MAGIC’s 5th Annual Backpack Giveaway

On August 23, 2008, the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office will co-sponsor the Fifth Annual MAGIC Back-to-School Celebration and Backpack Giveaway. This year, 4,000 backpacks will be distributed to children and youth ages 5-17 in Bayview-Hunter’s Point and the Western Addition/Fillmore.

Behavioral Health Court on KQED: Crime and the Mentally Ill

KQED’s “Forum,” with Michael Krasny, takes up the issue of the mentally ill in the criminal justice system. “Forum” looks at new programs designed to help police and the courts avoid dangerous confrontations with the mentally ill. These programs are designed to steer the mentally ill toward treatment, instead of a life of incarceration. Judge […]

Omeed Popal Found Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity

Omeed Aziz Popal, 31, was found not guilty by reason of insanity by Judge Carol Yaggy today, at the Hall of Justice, 850 Bryant Street. Popal was facing attempted murder charges in connection with a series of alleged hit-and-run incidents involving sixteen people in San Francisco on August 29, 2006.

San Francisco’s Undocumented Children

The recent news stories criticizing the city’s juvenile probation department for sending undocumented children home instead of handing them over to the federal immigration authorities has ignited a firestorm of negative attacks. However, the stories missed a key fact: the city’s practice of transporting youth home was enacted with the full knowledge and cooperation of the Immigration and Naturalization Service 12 years ago.

SF Community Cameras Exonerate Another Man

The felony case against DeAndre Barney was dismissed on July 10, 2008 after he was proven factually innocent of armed robbery based on San Francisco community safety camera evidence. Video footage showed that the car Barney was driving was not the getaway car, as alleged by police. Barney was represented by Deputy Public Defender Randall Martin.

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