In August 2022, Deputy Public Defender Crystal Carpino learned that the nascent Restorative Justice court program was being halted under the administration of appointed interim District Attorney Brooke Jenkins, meaning that no one else is being allowed into the small program which has been steadily growing with much early success. The reasons given for this “temporary” halt have been inconsistent, and the move itself is inconsistent with the DA’s stated intention to focus on helping victims of crime. Indeed, the Restorative Justice program is based on the premise that injured parties choose to enter this process to find healing and be made whole — offering much more satisfaction than the traditional punitive approach. Defendants also must be willing to face the harm they’ve caused and learn from it to do better in the future.
SF Gate broke the story about the halt to the Restorative Justice program. Subsequently, Ms. Carpino went on KGO’s Morning Show to discuss the benefits of the Restorative Justice program, and the promise it holds even when applied to serious or violent offenses.