Better for Everyone: Repairing Harm for Crime Survivors and Young People

AFTER Report ImageIn January 2022, San Francisco launched the AFTER Program (Aims to Foster Transformation & Ensure Restitution), one of the first efforts in the country to pilot an alternative to the traditional restitution process. The AFTER Program aims to set both the crime survivor and the young person who caused the harm on a stronger and more economically secure path.

The AFTER Program is a response to our broken system of juvenile restitution, which fails crime survivors and young people and their families. For crime survivors, they rarely, if ever, receive compensation. In San Francisco, even after five years since restitution has been assessed, over 90% goes unpaid. For young people and their parents who owe the restitution, most live in poverty. They simply do not have the money to pay restitution, which leads to long-term barriers to financial stability.

Through the AFTER program, crime survivors are financially compensated faster from a fund established at the District Attorney’s Office. They receive payment in a matter of months, rather than waiting years or never receiving any restitution. At the same time, the young person is held accountable by making amends in ways besides paying money that they do not have. The young person may perform community service, attend workshops and educational classes, receive job training, or participate in restorative justice conferences.

The AFTER Program is a truly collaborative effort among San Francisco’s justice partners. We are grateful to our partners at Huckleberry Youth Programs, the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, Public Defender’s Office, The Bar Association of San Francisco, Juvenile Probation, and the Juvenile Justice Division of the Superior Court.