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San Francisco D.A. Challenges Sheriff’s Early Inmate Release Proposal

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San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

BarbaraTaylor_KCBS_0001r Barbara Taylor
Barbara Taylor is the long time San Francisco City Hall Bureau Chief...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — San Francisco’s District Attorney George Gascón sent out a letter on Thursday to the mayor and supervisors challenging a proposal by Sheriff Mirkarimi giving him full authority to grant early inmate releases from county jail using electronic-monitoring devices.

The proposal would let Mirkarimi decide on which inmates can be released early with electronic monitoring and allow the release of any inmate—not just those that are considered low risk.

In his letter, Gascón objected to the proposal stating it was major cause for concern—a sentiment shared by Supervisor Eric Mar who questioned Mirkarimi at a meeting on Thursday.

“I just wanted to ask you how are we to ensure public safety if we’re releasing new groups of people that maybe potential dangers to the community,” he said.

But Mirkarimi, who said he was the only one who didn’t receive the letter, accused the Gascón of fear mongering and said electronic monitoring saved money “but never at the expense of public safety.”

“A letter like we received today I think undermines the progress that we’ve been making but I’m more than happy to make sure that all moving parts are lined up,” he said.

The legislation was put on hold until changes are made to ensure that the D.A. is consulted about all electronic-monitoring releases

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