CITY OF SAN FRANCISCO, CA
Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr.

SCHOOL SAFETY AS PART OF COMPREHENSIVE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM REFORM

Mayor’s Criminal Justice Council

1. Briefly describe the structure of the program.

Mayor Brown is taking a multi-faceted, comprehensive approach to preventing and combating school violence in San Francisco. The city and county’s innovative policing programs to decrease school violence are operating as key components of comprehensive systems reform spearheaded by the Mayor. The Mayor’s Office of Children, Youth and their Families and the Mayor’s Criminal Justice Council are the principal offices overseeing these reforms, and are working closely together and with the school district to implement his overall strategy to provide safety in city schools and throughout San Francisco. The juvenile justice reform initiative addresses school safety by creating alternative school, after school options for youth with special needs, and safety of youth moving from school to after school programs. The Beacon Centers increase school safety both by their physical presence at school sites and through programming to help youth resolve problems and develop competencies.

The Mayor’s two systems reform initiatives are working together to better identify, refer, and provide opportunities for all youth – including those with formal involvement in the juvenile justice system. They share assessment practices, and do cross training for their provider networks about the opportunities offered by each.

Under the leadership of the Mayor’s Criminal Justice Council, the City and County of San Francisco is reforming its juvenile justice system and has developed and implemented an Action Plan to make the system more efficient, accountable, and community oriented. A continuum of care has been developed in which city departments, law enforcement, community based organizations, schools, health and social service agencies, probation, and the court system work together with youth, families and their neighborhoods to provide reciprocal restitution, surround services and ongoing accountability. The target neighborhoods are those in which there is the most juvenile crime – at school sites and elsewhere.

Programs: School safety programs developed through this plan address school safety during school for high risk youth, offer after school programs in targeted neighborhoods, and increase youth safe passage from school sites to the after school programs.

Two after school safe havens for youth in high crime neighborhoods have opened in which tutoring, counseling, and computer and job training programs are offered.

A new Charter School has been opened to serve as an extended community school setting which provides youth most at risk of involvement with the juvenile justice system with intensive surround services, and strengthens their bonds with family and community.

A "Safe Corridor" has also been created in which increased community policing presence in a neighborhood plagued by juvenile crime and violence has enabled youth to access after school activities.

The San Francisco Police Department in partnership with the Mayor’s office has expanded the "School Resource Officer Program" which provides community police officers in all of the city’s seventeen middle schools, and in four elementary schools. These officers act as role models and mentors to the youth and help the school administrators with any counseling or issues involving police services in or around their schools. The main goals of this program are to provide a safe school environment, reduce crime on school campuses, and to foster better relationships between the youth and their community police officers.

Mayor Brown made this reform effort a priority for his administration to address the outdated, inefficient juvenile justice system which had not been effectively serving the city’s youth and communities.

2. How do you measure the program’s effectiveness?

The program will be evaluated by the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, UC Berkeley, and the Eisenhower Foundation to examine various outcome measures.

3. How is the program financed?

This program is funded by various sources including state (State Board of Corrections), federal (United States Department of Justice), local funds, and various private foundations.

4. How is the community involved in the program?

The various and diverse communities of San Francisco are key partners in the implementation of this effort. Community based agencies and residents are involved in planning the initiative and referring or receiving youth whose involvement in the juvenile justice system could be prevented or minimized through increased or specialized services. Local business associations are involved in neighborhood policing to provide for safe passages for youth to and from school.

5. Contact person:

Travis T. Kiyota, Senior Policy Advisor, Mayor’s Criminal Justice Council

Office of Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr., 401 Van Ness Ave, Suite 424

San Francisco, CA 94102, Tel. (415) 554-6560, Fax. (415) 554-6995

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