50 Percent of Those Released From S.F. Jail Before Trial Were Accused of a New Crime While Free

Roughly half of people charged with crimes and released from jail before their trials in San Francisco in recent years failed to show up for court, and a similar share were accused of committing a new crime while free, a new study found.

More than 1 in 6 defendants allegedly committed a new violent offense, according to the findings from May 2016 to December 2019 published by the California Policy Lab, based at UC Berkeley and UCLA.

The factors behind the statistics are complex, experts and advocates said, and present challenges for the city’s effort to reduce the number of low-risk people in jail before they’re convicted of a crime and get them the support they may need to better their lives.

The data doesn’t include many of the lowest risk defendants who get a citation reminding them to show up at court and are released immediately. Numbers could also be driven in part by homelessness and addiction that can fuel crimes and hinder people from showing up for court. One in three people in San Francisco jails were unhoused and nearly 3 out of 4 had a history of substance use in recent counts. …

Click here to read the full article from the SF Chronicle.

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