SAN FRANCISCO — District Attorney Brooke Jenkins unveiled her juvenile justice policy Tuesday, limiting the filling of adult charges against teens only in cases that involve “heinous crimes that shock the conscience of the community.”
Jenkins will also be establishing a Juvenile Review Team as part of her office’s process of determining whether cases involving 16- and 17-year-olds should be elevated to adult criminal proceedings.
“History has made it clear that juveniles of color have been disproportionately charged as adults in the American criminal justice system,” Jenkins said in a news release. “This is something that we must correct by always presuming that our justice-involved youth should remain in the juvenile justice system where they have access to services like mental health and behavioral health support.”
Crimes that will be considered for review are murder, attempted murder, forcible sexual assault, kidnapping, torture and aggravated mayhem,
Additionally, the offense must be heinous in nature.
“As a DA’s office we must retain prosecutorial discretion to ensure that we protect the public and deliver justice in our most serious and egregious cases that is fair and proportional,” Jenkins said. “Our new Juvenile Review Team will provide a holistic review of cases that will make the system fairer for all parties involved.”
Another part of the decision-making process will be a managing attorney, who will consider the following factors in determining if public safety concerns are so great that a judicial review of the case is appropriate:
- The circumstances and gravity of the offense alleged to have been committed by the minor,
- The degree of criminal sophistication exhibited by the minor,
- Whether the minor can be rehabilitated prior to the expiration of the juvenile court’s jurisdiction,
- The minor’s previous delinquent history, and the success or failure of previous attempts by the juvenile court to rehabilitate the minor.