San Francisco Collaborative Court Programs

The San Francisco Collaborative Courts (SFCC) work with individuals and families in the criminaljustice, juvenile delinquency, and child welfare systems who are challenged by substance abuse, mental illness and other social welfare concerns. Our programs aim to improve individual and family outcomes, minimize incarceration, reduce criminal recidivism and improve public safety. Judicial leadership plays a significant role in motivating participant compliance and is essential for ensuring positive relationships among the court and its partners. Team members work with participants to facilitate greater self-sufficiency, family health and community engagement. Collaborative Courts adhere to principles that combine the values of treatment and rehabilitation with a focus on accountability, public safety, and cost-effective programming.

 

ADULT PROGRAMS

 

Behavioral Health Court (BHC) addresses the complex needs of mentally ill defendants, including those with co-occurring substance use disorders. An individualized treatment plan is developed which includes psychiatric rehabilitation services, medication management, supportive living arrangements, substance abuse treatment, supported employment, and intensive case management services. BHC received the 2008 Council on Mentally Ill Offenders Best Practices Award. BHC currently has 140 clients.

 

Community Justice Center (CJC) is a court and social service center that serves the Tenderloin, Civic Center, and SOMA neighborhoods. The CJC offers defendants the opportunity to quickly access social service referrals for substance abuse, mental health, and primary care because staff is available in the same building as the court. Restorative justice projects allow participants to give back to the community and a citizen advisory board and town hall meetings provide community feedback. In partnership with the Department of Public Health (DPH), services at the CJC are available for all residents who live in the CJC area.

Drug Court is a felony court that provides an intensive supervision case management program for nonviolent offenders with substantial substance abuse problems. When a participant successfully completes Drug Court, generally after 10-24 months, probation is terminated or charges may be dismissed. Drug Court has its own treatment clinic located one block from the Hall of Justice and is supported by state funding through DPH. Drug Court averages 250 clients per year.

 
FAMILY AND JUVENILE PROGRAMS

 

Dependency Drug Court (DDC) is a court-supervised treatment and parenting program for people with children involved in the child welfare and dependency court system. Program partners include DPH, Human Services Agency, City Attorney’s Office, Juvenile Dependency Panel, Homeless Prenatal Program, Zero to Three, Hamilton Family Services, and Court Appointed Special Advocates. DDC aims to increase the rate of reunification, reduce time in foster care and reduce the rate of re-entry into foster care after reunification. Parents receive intensive case management, substance abuse treatment, affordable and supportive housing, and other needed services, all within the context of frequent court monitoring. DDC currently serves 19 families.

Juvenile Collaborative Reentry Team (JCRT) provides coordinated and comprehensive reentry case planning and aftercare services for youth returning to the community from out-of-home placement. The team is comprised of the Court, the San Francisco Juvenile Probation Department, the Public Defender’s Office, and the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice (CJCJ). One hundred youth are projected to be served in the first year. The program began in December 2009.

Truancy Court is a specialty calendar aimed at reducing the rate of truancy in elementary school children. Rather than charging minors for a status offense in the juvenile delinquency system, the parents of the truants are charged with an infraction for a first offense. Repeat offenders can be charged with a misdemeanor. The goal of the calendar is to refer parents to programs that address their own problems to keep their children on track. The calendar is a partnership among the Superior Court, District Attorney, Human Services Agency and the San Francisco Board of Education.

Youth Family Violence Court (YFVC) is for youth between the ages of 14-18 who are brought before the court for violent conduct directed at a family member or in the context of a dating or intimate relationship. The mission of YFVC is to prevent continued violence and to enable youth to participate in positive family and intimate relationships that are free of physical and emotional violence. Services for youth and families include: court supervision and appearances, violence intervention programs, mental health services, parenting services and child trauma services. There are currently 50 cases in YFVC.

Youth Treatment and Education Center (YTEC) runs four programs for youth involved or formerly involved in the juvenile justice system. YTEC’s core program is the Principal Center Collaborative (PCC). PCC is a high school for youth on probation that integrates behavioral health services within the school day. PCC is a joint project with YTEC, the SF Unified School District, the Juvenile Probation Department, Catholic Charities, and DPH. Through a new partnership with Big Picture Schools, PCC provides youth with new opportunities for learning through internships and project-based experiences such as mock court, field trips, and film projects. There are currently 60 youth in the program. YTEC’s three other programs include: