San Francisco DA Brooke Jenkins reflects on first year, acknowledges ongoing challenges

San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins, who assumed office just over a year ago, released new data on the changes implemented during her tenure.

The district attorney acknowledged ongoing challenges in San Francisco but emphasized the signs of improvement as her office undergoes a transformation.

Since she took office on July 8, 2022, Jenkins said her office has reestablished ties with local, state, and federal law enforcement. Additionally, she has established a dedicated major crimes team that focuses on handling serious felony cases and added 39 new prosecutors.

"When I took over, our office had been decimated of experienced prosecutors, and so, thankfully we were able to recruit numerous prosecutors who had, some of them, decades of experience in either our office or other surrounding county's DA's offices," said Jenkins.

One of Jenkins' early commitments was to address open-air drug use and markets in San Francisco. In her inauguration speech, she declared, "Starting today, drug crime laws will be enforced in this city."

According to the district attorney, her office has filed 819 felony narcotics cases, a 72% increase over her predecessor. Among those cases, 38 have resulted in convictions, while others are currently in various stages of the legal process or have been dismissed. A small number of cases have gone through diversion.

However, the San Francisco Public Defender's Office holds a critical stance on the district attorney's approach, stating that, "Jenkins’s regressive war on drugs ignores evidence-based solutions to the overdose crisis and human suffering... the overdose crisis has only worsened, and the renewed arrests for public intoxication are only putting people more at risk."

Despite the district attorney's efforts to crack down on drug sales and use in San Francisco, evidence of such activities are prevalent.

"We didn't get here overnight," said Jenkins. "This was a years long process of allowing this problem to get worse and worse. And it's going to take us time as a city to correct it. But, we are on the path to correcting it."


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Retail theft also remains a persistent challenge in San Francisco. The district attorney's office has received a 57% increase organized theft cases, though only one conviction has been secured. Additionally, misdemeanor theft cases have risen by 69% compared to the previous year.

"We're still seeing significant issues in that area of retail theft," said Jenkins. "I'm not going to sugar coat it, we still have a long way to go there as well. My office again, will be doing what it needs to as far as accountability."

Jenkins has faced consistent criticism from those looking for police reform.


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"Jenkins appears to embrace the two-tiered criminal legal system. As hard as she goes against our clients... she gives a pass to people in uniform," the San Francisco Public Defender's Office said.

Jenkins dropped three cases involving police officers who killed in the line of duty.

"In the three cases we inherited, we did not believe that there was sufficient evidence to prove that those officers broke the law," she said. "I have an obligation in those cases to dismiss those cases."

Looking ahead to the next year, the district attorney expressed her commitment to enhancing transparency and communication between her office and the community.

In terms of accountability, voters will have the opportunity to evaluate the district attorney's performance at the polls as she is scheduled for re-election in November 2024.