"Quality of Life Court" coming to SF?
Gavin Newsom has stated his plans to develop a similar court here in San Francisco, and I am all for it. Though San Francisco certainly has major problems with felony crimes--such as a rising homicide rate--the prevalence of petty crimes is quite high, too. Throughout the city you will see aggressive panhandlers, people drunk in public, urinating or defecating on the street, and performing other acts that make San Francisco a fairly disgusting place to live.
To continue, the defendants must plead guilty. If they decline, their case moves to the traditional downtown court. If they do plead guilty, they're most often assigned community service to repay the neighborhood for their offenses -- and social services to address underlying problems. Fines are never part of the sentence, but jail time can be.By enrolling them in community service punishments in lieu of a fine, violators will be making the city a cleaner place. Furthermore, "taking ownership" in this way may make them less prone to committing such acts in the future.
I think Newsom is making a great decision by doing so, despite the criticism that he is getting. Now, if only he would start respecting immigration laws.