District Attorney program is now statewide example

A San Francisco program started by District Attorney Kamala Harris is now an official example for California counties to emulate.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed AB 750, the Back on Track Reentry Act . The bill, authored by Speaker of the Assembly Karen Bass and sponsored by Harris, encourages counties to use the San Francisco model. 

The program, created by Harris four years ago, is meant to reduce recidivism among nonviolent drug offenders by enrolling them in a job-training or educational program.

So far, fewer than 10 percent of Back on Track graduates have re-offended compared to a 54 percent statewide average recidivism rate for the same population of offenders, according to the district attorney’s office. Back on Track also costs about $5,000 annually per participant, compared to $35,000 to $50,000 for jail or prison. 

Of course, Back on Track hasn’t gone entirely without controversy. Harris faced tough questions after an illegal immigrant, Alexander Izaguirre, was arrested on suspicion of robbery and assault in July 2008 while still enrolled in the program.
 

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

What to watch for as the San Francisco 49ers take on Green Bay

The presence of the George Halas Trophy in Santa Clara means that the NFC Championship game is here.

SF Lives: Divorcing San Francisco

“This is a town that thrived on being eclectic. I don’t think we can recover,”

‘Tough love’ continues to be an excuse for criminalizing homelessness

Mayor Breed needs to acknowledge the suffering caused by city sweeps

Mulan, Law & Order actor BD Wong asks to record Muni bus stop announcements

SFMTA director Tumlin embraces celebrity voice concept with invitations to SF stars

Most Read