SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — San Francisco supervisors on Tuesday voted 10-1 in favor of closing the city’s Juvenile Hall, a bold move that would make San Francisco one of the first cities in the nation to do so.
The controversial ordinance, crafted by supervisors Shamann Walton, Hillary Ronen and Matt Haney, seeks to shutter the facility, located at 375 Woodside Ave., by the end of 2021. The supervisors and their supporters have cited a citywide decrease in youth crime resulting in an underused facility.
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According to the plan, jail time for underage offenders would be replaced with job training and youth enrichment programs, among other efforts, to deter kids from engaging in criminal activity.
Supervisor Shamann Walton has said the issue is personal for him, as he spent time incarcerated as a minor in Contra Costa and Solano counties.
The San Francisco chapter of the NAACP has opposed the ordinance.
Chapter President the Rev. Amos Brown said the ordinance was hastily put together with little input from community stakeholders – including Chief Probation Officer Allen Nance.
Brown also echoed concerns that if Juvenile Hall closed, underage offenders who must be incarcerated would be taken to other facilities, outside of San Francisco.
Mayor London Breed on Tuesday said she was also opposed to the ordinance, pointing instead to the blue-ribbon panel she created months ago, which is expected to come up with a report by the end of the year on ways to reduce juvenile incarceration.
The legislation voted on Tuesday, if approved by the mayor, mandates that a 13-person working group explore alternatives to youth incarceration. The group would come up with a plan that would have to be approved by supervisors.
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