Community Justice Center – Town Hall @ Main Library Tonight

With various crime issues seemingly on everyone’s mind in San Francisco these days, the city has moved another step closer to acknowledging the systems that were designed to encourage responsible behavior and punish miscreants are strained or broken.

Tonight, Tuesday January 15th at 5:30 PM there’s a community town hall meeting on the city’s new Community Justice Center (CJC) which will be opening by the summer at 575 Polk Street. The mayor is promising either another annoying & expensive punitive layer or an innovative approach to restorative justice to be built upon strong connections to the communities that it serves. According to supporters, The Town Hall tonight will provide an opportunity for members of the community, to give suggestions, critiques and compliments directly to the people running the justice system.

The CJC is a coolaborative project of operating as some sort of subsidiary of the Superior Court through mandate granted by the Mayor’s Office, in partnership with the District Attorney, Public Defender, San Francisco Police Department, Sheriff, Human Services Agency, and the Department of Public Health.

Despite all the cooks already in the kitchen listed above, it will supposedly be shaped by the input and priorities that the public gives.


Here’s a map on the proposed borders in the Tenderloin & SOMA where cited low level offenders, “quality of life crimes” and misdemeanors will be sent to the CJC…

Details on the public meeting,
links and info on the program below:

Modeled after a similar concept in NYC’s Red Hook, strong community involvement is apparently key to rebuilding the effective role of administering justice to those that have stepped to far outside the permissible lines. However all involved know that without community cooperation, the court cannot serve as a community benefit.

Unfortunately, SF’s criminal justice system does not have the instant oversight of the quality of life issues that NY’s center has. We’ll have to see how well the process of citations & appearances can be handled by a new creation of the court system that doesn’t have quite the same jurisdiction or powers.

When: January 15th, 2008, 5:30 to 7:00pm

Where: Koret Auditorium @ The San Francisco Public Library
100 Larkin St.

This past summer, eight SF community representatives from the Tenderloin & South of Market area made the trip to Manhattan to see what Collaborative Justice Center was like. SF’s community delegation was impressed by the outcomes achieved and humbled by the involvement of the affected neighborhood leaders. You can read more at:

For more information about SF’s Collaborative Justice Programs, please visit:

Send questions and comments to:

Or contact Lisa Lightman, Director of Collaborative Justice Courts
at (415) 553-9855 for more information.

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