Thursday, July 31, 2014

Sheriff Mirkarimi: "It's expensive to be poor"

"It's expensive to be poor"

I was Mirkarimi's harshest critic when he was a supervisor, but he's clearly doing a good job as sheriff. Following Mayor Lee's misguided lead, City Hall tried and failed to destroy him and his family over an argument with his wife that got out of hand. Now he's trying to help inmates who haven't been convicted of anything join their families while their cases are being processed without paying bail/ransom.

From the Examiner (Inmate proposal by Sheriff Mirkarimi shot down for political reasons):

...nearly all the supervisors still in office who voted to have him removed also opposed his proposal Tuesday. His proposal, which died on arrival, would have given more people the chance to use electronic ankle bracelets instead of remaining in jail before their trial. For progressives like Supervisor David Campos, who backed the law---along with Public Defender Jeff Adachi and probation chief Wendy Still---the Home Detention and Electronic Monitoring Program would have alleviated an injustice built into the system: bail. Getting out of jail as you await trial is not an issue for the well-heeled, but poorer prisoners often have no option. That imbalance, they argue, is unfair. "There are some people that sit in County Jail not because they are a public-safety threat, but because they don't have the money to pay bail," Campos said...

From the Chronicle's story on the issue:

“The reason why I am pushing to expand our authority for determining who should be on electronic monitoring is to help neutralize the effect of poor people who can’t make bail,” he[Mirkarimi] said, noting the program would also save taxpayers money because ankle bracelets are about one-fifth the cost of a jail bed.

Mirkarimi is doing a much better job as sheriff than an unprincipled, vindictive City Hall.

He's already helped reduce excessive phone call rates for inmates and their families.

My analysis of the attempt to destroy Mirkarimi.

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