(Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)

SF secures hotel rooms for up to 51 homeless inmates released during pandemic

Mayor London Breed announced a plan Thursday to lease hotel rooms for dozens of inmates who would otherwise have nowhere else to go when released from jail.

Up to 51 people who are either awaiting trial or who have been deemed safe to release from jail will get a room under the partnership involving the Adult Probation Department, the San Francisco Pretrial Diversion Project and others.

The City has increasingly turned toward otherwise vacant hotel rooms to house vulnerable populations during the crisis and stop the spread of the coronavirus in congregate settings.

“We’ve moved over 1,100 people into hotels and we’re continuing to move more vulnerable and homeless residents into these rooms every day,” Breed said in a statement. “This is yet another innovative effort to respond to these unprecedented circumstances.”

Inmates in particular have been a concern for criminal justice leaders, who fear that an outbreak could take hold in the jails. The district attorney, public defender and others have all worked to reduce the jail population from around 1,100 before the crisis to some 700 now.

Chief Adult Probation Officer Karen Fletcher said in a statement that the individuals will have access to case management, supportive services and basic necessities including food, clothing and hygiene kits.

“The program provides a platform for change with a shared vision that focuses on client needs and supports their success, while ensuring public safety,” Fletcher said.

mbarba@sfexaminer.com

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