Successful SF Drug Court Threatened by Budget Cuts
More than 900 people have graduated from the program, an alternative to traditional sentencing options. Among them, 91 percent had obtained stable housing and 23 percent had re-established contact with their children upon graduation. About 15 percent re-offend, compared to the 51 percent recidivism rate for drug offenders who do not participate in drug court, according to statistics from the Public Defender’s Office.
However, The City’s public defender says looming citywide budget cuts will force him to pull his staff from Drug Court, as well as the Behavioral Health Court, which runs on the same premise and has enjoyed similar success.
“If these budget cuts are realized, we would have to cease our participation in both of those courts,” said Jeff Adachi, who heads the Public Defender’s Office.