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Phil Matier: New SF Plan In The Works To Deal With Chronic Drunks

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(CBS)

(CBS)

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – City court officials, police and the San Francisco Department of Public Health are working on a plan to curb the problem of chronically drunk people returning to the streets.

Under the plan, chronic drunks who repeatedly miss their court dates would be held in contempt and sentenced to serve five days for each missed appearance. All told, they could be sentenced to locked treatment for as long as six months.

KCBS, CBS 5 and Chronicle Insider Phil Matier:

Contempt citations are handled by a judge, so no trial is required.

Those sentenced would first be sent to San Francisco General Hospital until they are cleared. After that, they would be off to a special wing of the city jail for treatment administered by health department workers.

A pilot program for the plan, which has already received the green light from San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, could be up and running in the next month.

But the proposal is not without opposition. Public Defender Jeff Adachi has questioned the use of what he calls “selective enforcement” targeting drunks. Adachi has said he is not sure if the jail can handle such a rehab program.

You can hear Phil Matier’s comments Monday through Friday at 7:50am and 5:50pm on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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