SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The San Diego County Attorney’s Office announced a strategy Monday to prevent homeless people from becoming involved in crime, following the release of data showing that homeless people in the county were more likely to be victims of crime. and perpetrators.
The DA’s office says that, based on data from the county for two years collected from November 2019 to October 2021, those experiencing homelessness have been involved in crimes “at dramatically higher rates than the rest of the population” or as victims. or as offenders.
Recurrence rates were also high for the homeless during the two years examined, with 83% of homeless defendants having two to four new cases against them by local prosecutors and 15% having filed five to nine new cases.
In response, the DA’s office published a three-point plan that says it will address the link between homelessness and crime by reducing the number of homeless people living on the streets.
The plan includes:
– Development of an application that identifies available shelter beds, treatment and housing options for the homeless. The DA’s office says the data collected on the use and availability of the shelters will help the county formulate effective policies to address future needs and investments.
– The development of an enhanced legal program for the homeless that aims to address the legal issues of those experiencing chronic homelessness, as well as substance abuse and mental health issues. The three-tier program will include an on-site authorized diversion program focusing on low-level offenses, a post-archive diversion program focusing on specific homeless services, and a Cooperative Court serving high-risk and disadvantaged individuals addressing its underlying causes. person. issues of homelessness, mental health disorders and / or substance abuse.
Support for a change in state law that would allow an individual to be involuntarily detained for up to 72 hours if found by a licensed mental health professional that such psychiatric treatment is needed. The DA office says the current law only allows unintentional detentions if a person poses a danger to himself or others or is severely disabled.
“Bringing humane and effective solutions to the complex and growing problem of homeless people in San Diego County requires a common strategic plan that creates change at sea,” said San Diego County Attorney Samer Stefan.
“I recognize the many public officials, groups and individuals in our cities and counties who are working tirelessly on this issue to promote many encouraging efforts. In my role as the county’s top public safety officer, my goal is to bring solutions based on my team’s unique experience where homelessness, mental health issues, and substance use disorders intersect with the criminal justice system.
“These data, which show the drastically higher rates of a homeless person becoming a victim of crime or perpetrator, show that homelessness is both a humanitarian and a public safety crisis that needs to be addressed urgently. “It’s unacceptable to continue to allow people to languish in the vortex of mental illness, drug addiction and poverty.”
The DA releases a three-point plan to address crime amongst the homeless – Source link The DA releases a three-point plan to address crime amongst the homeless –