The state’s prison realignment is bringing new jobs to San Francisco.
Millions of dollars in state funding will be used to create 31 new government positions to deal with an influx of lawbreakers and a new center for drug testing, education and job referrals for those offenders.
The $5.7 million is being paid for through a new state initiative where cities and counties, as of Oct. 1, must start dealing with nonviolent offenders who in the past would either be in prison or on parole.
The spending includes $860,789 for a community assessment and service center. San Francisco Adult Probation Chief Wendy Still said her department will start looking for developers next month in hopes of having it operational by January. She said she expects the center would cost $1.1 million
annually and serve up to 200 post-release offenders per day.
The Probation Department also is creating a post-release division, which includes spending about $780,000 in wages for 15 more officers.
The public defender and the district attorney are hiring two new employees apiece at a total cost of $190,507.
But advocates such as the American Civil Liberties Union want to see at least half the state funding go toward services and programs, and not more law enforcement positions or jail beds.
Still said one-third of the spending is going to services, and she is working to convince the state to provide more funding while also applying for grants to augment services. When she hires probation officers, Still said, she looks for candidates who have social worker-type degrees and case management history.
It is projected that 225 offenders who otherwise would have gone to prison will actually end up in San Francisco County Jail, while 421 will be in the community under some form of supervision.
The spending plan was unanimously adopted last month by the Board of Supervisors and will be updated annually. There is a risk that if The City doesn’t receive adequate state funding, then its operating budget will be on the hook to pay for the beefed-up operation.
Targets of $5.7 million in state realignment money:
$1.75M Labor costs for new post-release division
$1.01M Nonlabor costs for post-release division
$300K Cost of policy development and planning
$100K Training costs
$861K Community assessment and service center
$650K Department of Public Health substance abuse, mental health services
$139K Two social workers at Department of Public Health
$30K Vocational training
$133K Human Services Agency to provide housing services to 91-125 inmates released
$181K Adding one attorney in City Attorney’s Office
$351K Sheriff’s Department — food for new inmates and increase in social services
Source: Budget Analyst Harvey Rose