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New San Francisco DA Announces 'Aggressive' New Policy to Hold Drug Dealers Accountable

AP Photo/Haven Daley

Back in June, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin was ousted in a recall election. Even in the deep-blue city, Boudin's ultra-progressive approach to criminal justice reform was just too much. Violent crime, rampant homelessness, open drug use on city streets, and uncontrolled theft plague the city. Voters had enough and Mayor London Breed chose former prosecutor Brooke Jenkins for the job. She had left her position in the DA's office and became one of Boudin's leading critics. When she took on the role, she promised residents that criminals would be held accountable once again. 

"As your next district attorney, I will restore accountability and consequences to our criminal justice system here in San Francisco," she said at the time. "Violence and repeat offenders will no longer be allowed to victimize our city without consequences. Hate crimes will no longer be tolerated. We are a city of second chances, but the truth is we have to draw a line with people who choose hate, violence and a life of crime." 

Since then, she's been busy cleaning up the mess left behind by Boudin. On Wednesday, she announced a new policy to hold drug dealers accountable. 

[The new policy] would prohibit dealers arrested with more than five grams of drugs from being referred to San Francisco’s community justice court (CJC). The new policy will also consider adding charging enhancements for drug dealing within 1,000 feet of a school and the office will potentially seek pre-trial detention of fentanyl dealers in extreme cases. The previous administration’s policy had no weight limit threshold, was not adhering to CJC guidelines, and allowed drug dealers, arrested with as much as 500 grams of fentanyl, and who had multiple open fentanyl cases, to be referred to CJC.

District Attorney Jenkins also announced that she has revoked over 30 open plea offers put forward by the previous administration, including an egregious case involving one defendant who had six open cases – all for dealing fentanyl in the Tenderloin. The defendant was arrested with more than 100 grams of the deadly drug and was in CJC at the time District Attorney Jenkins assumed the office. This defendant was referred to CJC over five times despite failing to complete any of the CJC mandated requirements and violating the terms of a stay away order from the Tenderloin area when he was arrested on each subsequent new case. This particular defendant was offered a single misdemeanor to settle all six cases. (San Francisco DA’s Office)

Since 2020, Jenkins said nearly 1,500 people have died from drug overdoses. 

"We cannot stand by while these neighborhoods continue to suffer with violence and drug dealing happening openly on their streets, and we also cannot continue to standby while people continue to die on our streets," she said. "We have to make changes now to save lives." 

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