Mirkarimi vs. the conservatives

The sheriff candidate takes on criminal rehab issues, despite the critics

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EDITORIAL It's easy to forget why the race for San Francisco sheriff is so important. For 30 years, retiring Sheriff Mike Hennessey has done such a good job promoting progressive law-enforcement policies that the voters haven't had to think much about the office. But the race between Sup. Ross Mirkarimi, former police union leader Chris Cunnie and deputy sheriff Paul Miyamoto is critical — and there's no better evidence than the debate over recidivism.

More than 65 percent of the people incarcerated in San Francisco wind up reoffending after they're released. That's a huge number, something the city's been struggling with for years. Now Mirkarimi has a proposal to address that: He's suggesting a tax break to encourage businesses to hire ex-cons. And already, the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Francisco Examiner, and Mirkarimi's two opponents have jumped on the idea, accusing him of being soft on crime, of coddling felons and putting "victimizers before victims."

For the record, we're not fond of tax breaks as a way of stimulating job creation. We opposed the payroll tax break for Twitter and we opposed the biotech tax break. We've never seen any credible evidence that giving one group of companies special treatment under the city's payroll tax actually encourages the creation of a single job.

But at least Mirkarimi is trying to address a problem that is only going to get worse. Under Gov. Jerry Brown's realignment, thousands of prisoners who would normally be sent to a state institution are going to wind up in the San Francisco jail system — and nearly all of them will ultimately be released, in the city.

If 65 percent of those people wind up committing another crime, that's more victims, more police work, more time and expense for the courts — and more prisoners to crowd the local jails. And one of the biggest factors in recidivism is the lack of employment opportunities.

In other words, putting ex-felons to work is a cheap and effective way to reduce the crime rate. Cunnie and Miyamoto, who have both spent their careers in the criminal justice system, ought to know that.

But instead of supporting Mirkarimi's approach — or even his overall goals — they've been taking a surprisingly right-wing line. Miyamoto announced that the proposal would "needlessly coddle at-risk individuals." Cunnie charged that "the supervisor's proposal puts victimizers before victims when it comes to incentivizing job creation."

Never mind that the federal government adopted a similar program under the administration of that notorious criminal coddler George W. Bush. Never mind that several states have followed suit. Never mind that this is anything but a radical idea. Never mind the logic: Two of the candidates for sheriff of one of the most liberal cities in America are talking like hard-core Republicans.

We prefer direct public spending and other approaches to job creation, but Mirkarimi's goal is entirely valid. The city ought to be putting resources into finding jobs for ex-offenders. And the fact that Mirkarimi is the only one talking about that shows had profoundly important this race is for the future of law-enforcement policy in San Francisco.

Comments

Ross Mirkarimi for Sheriff of San Francisco has my vote and my friends in the City and County of San Francisco.
This is a brilliant idea due to Gov. Jerry Brown’s idea of the release of many convicted felons from the state of California’s prison system. Remember they are not all violent.
I am a San Franciscan and a businessman as well as a somewhat conservative and liberal view points. I am proud that current Sheriff Michael Hennessey endorsed Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi to fill Sheriff Hennessey’s retiring shoes. I have followed Hennessey from day one of his ideas, some pro some not. I understand the reasons that I’m sure Hennessey visions to pass his sheriff’s badge when he retires this term of why he endorsed Ross Mirkarimi for the next San Francisco Sheriff. Best wishes to you and yours Sheriff Hennessey.
I hope that everyone has read this article thoroughly with an open mind and understand that there are some jobs that convicted felons are very much capable in doing that some of those individual in San Francisco cannot OR would prefer not to do. Rehabilitation and 2nd chances can straighten an individual’s life, I’m sure Hennessy and Ross would agree. Question- Ask yourself. Why not give them the opportunity? There are many individuals that have changed their ways and we don’t even know they work and live next to you because of their embarrassment of what has happen in their past life. Many and have become successful and we not know it.
The county jail of San Francisco has set programs to better those inmates with lesser convictions to prepare them as they are released out of custody. Why not felons? Some may excel and some may not. Are they humans as we are? Yes, of course!
As much as deputy sheriff’s disagree with the current Sheriff Michael Hennessey’s 31 years in service ideas, then why are they even working for the San Francisco Sheriff’s department? Go elsewhere! Hennessy has given them a job. He is fair, chance worthy and successful in his years of service. You might ask have I been in trouble with the law? No, not at all!
As I mentioned, I have somewhat conservative and liberal view points. I am frightened also for those in custody, their families, the current programs that may change and the citizens of San Francisco to have either of the following conservatives, Capitan Paul Miyamoto or Chris Cunnie as Sheriff of San Francisco. We need someone with much similar ideas and some growing changes like Ross Mirkarimi as San Francisco Sheriff.
Please join me and my friends to vote November 8, 2011 for ROSS MIRKARIMI for San Francisco Sheriff.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 26, 2011 @ 6:43 pm

You state that "there are some jobs that convicted felons are very much capable in doing that some of those individual in San Francisco cannot OR would prefer not to do". Really? Can you name some of these JOBS that regular, law abiding "joe citizen" cannot or prefer not to do? In this economy? Yeah, ok. How about this? Since these are felons were talking about, meaning those who have convicted of committing a crime, punishable by death or imprisonment in excess of one year and you stated "remember they are not all violent", how would you determine which ones aren't violent? Drug users, sex offenders, robbers? Will you hire them? Just a question. Also, you say you're conservative but seem to speak more favorably about felons than deputies. You say, deputy "go elsewhere"!? Why because they don't agree with everything the Sheriff does? They still administer the Sheriffs ideas and policies. How many people do you know that agree with every idea their boss has? Do they still do their job? Why not talk to a deputy and see what their disagreements are. I talk to deputies. I don't know any who said Hennessy was unfair. How many do YOU know, who've said so? But you want Ross to give a felon a job but deputy, "go elsewhere!" Wow! Here's another one. You've followed Hennessey ideas from day one to 31 yrs later, right? So I'm sure you've heard about his award winning rehabilitation programs. Under his watch, San Francisco is known, countrywide for having these programs. Boy, if they win awards, they sure must be effective! Funny thing, though. With all these wonderful rehabilitation programs, San Francisco, somehow, has one of the highest recidivism rates in the country! Oh c'mon, that can't be right. Can it? Bottomline, I'm just trying to point out some things & thoughts from another side but I don't hate all felons. See, I'm a San Franciscan, too. Born and raised. I've never had any trouble with the law and I grew up around felons. I have relatives who were felons. (one of which I wrote a letter of recommendation for to help him get a job, which he got, btw) My best friend has a felony record but is working on becoming a pastor. I know personally that a 2nd chance can change lives BUT they all knew what they did, the choices they made, and the consequences that could come behind them. All of them, made a choice and they knew they could be held accountable. They also knew that even if they could turn things around, it could be hard, if not near impossible. It should be hard. Regular, everyday law abiding citizens have it real hard right now. How do you give a felon a job, when law abiding Joe & Jane citizen can't get a job, or pay their mortgage or rent? This sends the wrong message. All things equal, people who didn't make bad choices should be helped before we get to the ones who made their own bad choices. Finally, your boy Mirkarimi is an opportunist. He's just looking for another addition on his political resume. So when he runs for congress or whatever, he can show all the things that qualify him for the next political spot he can sneak into. He doesn't care about deputies or your oppressed non-violent felons unless it helps get him elected. Next it'll be Mirkarimi for Congress, so I guess you'll still be "frightened for those in custody", eight years later.

Captain Paul Miyamoto for Sheriff! - Experience NOT Politics!!!

Posted by Guest on Oct. 28, 2011 @ 12:43 am

Ta Hell!?!

The bedrock Progressive power piece on the chessboard of SF politics is the D-5 supe seat. If Ross wins and anyone other than Adachi (whom you hate) or Avalos wins the Mayoral race we'll have a conservative supe in D-5 for the next 9 years to join your double-crossers, Chiu and Kim.

Tim, Bruce, Steve, Marke ... comment on the very real possibility that Progs might lose the D-5 seat with your help.

Or, ignore me.

Go Cardinals!

h.

Posted by h. brown on Oct. 27, 2011 @ 2:50 pm

If Yee wins he will very likely appoint a strong progressive in D-5.

You yourself have even claimed there is some secret conspiracy for him to do so.

Now you are all too conveniently (for Adachi's purposes) leaving the Yee factor out of your comment.

If you were any more transparent we could see right through you -

wait...

We can...

Posted by Aragorn on Oct. 27, 2011 @ 3:08 pm

Yee is 25 points behind Lee in the polls.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 27, 2011 @ 3:35 pm

If we accept the lower end of the curve due to Lee's barrage of scandals, he is at -best- at around 25% with the rest of the front runners in the mid to low teens. Lee is leading Yee by 15% tops, and probably less.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 27, 2011 @ 10:28 pm

This is Eric's conjecture - not in any way backed by fact. Until a poll shows the cumulative weight of "Lee's barrage of scandals" detracting from his previous lead and shows Yee making up his dismal showing in every other poll, then this is nothing more than Eric Brooks' substituting what he WISHES were reality for what is actual reality.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 27, 2011 @ 11:24 pm

which put Lee's low end for the first round at 25% of the vote.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 28, 2011 @ 12:36 am

All the polls I've seen have Lee over 30% and slated to win without any other candidate getting to 15%

Posted by Guest on Oct. 28, 2011 @ 6:16 am

My point is to show how even your own overly rosy projection simply isn't strong enough to establish what you are claiming.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 31, 2011 @ 11:27 am

Mirkarimi for Sheriff? But if the Dalton boys ride into town, who's going to drive them out? Could Ross Mirkarimi handle the job? If you smoke that much weed, can you shoot straight?

Posted by Dirk Hofbrau on Oct. 27, 2011 @ 9:02 pm

San Franciscans looking for non partisan and comprehensive information on the candidates and the measures can easily go to the League of Women Voters of San Francisco's Smart Voter website to obtain that information. See the link here: http://smartvoter.org/2011/11/08/ca/sf/ballot.html and check it out.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 31, 2011 @ 11:19 am

and those picks look fairly partisan to me.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 31, 2011 @ 11:34 am

San Franciscans looking for non-partisan information about the candidates and local propositions. The League of Women Voters of San Francisco's Smart Voter website put up information about the election in a comprehensive and non-biased manner for voters. Check the Smart Voter out before you cast the ballots: http://smartvoter.org/2011/11/08/ca/sf/ballot.html

Posted by Guest on Oct. 31, 2011 @ 12:31 pm
Posted by Guest on Oct. 31, 2011 @ 3:13 pm

Only one man can untie this nasty knot -- Hugo Chavez, the illustrious president of Venezuela. Can we persuade him to come to San Francisco, interview the parties, and find a just solution? Mirkarimi's wife wants to know who are the powerful interests who compelled Ivory Madison to bring these trumped up domestic violence charges to the police. Chavez could find out. And as for the wife's claim that monied interests are behind the charges brought against Mirkarimi, President Hugo Chavez could find out who those interests are, shame them as they ought to be shamed, and mete them the justice they deserve.

Posted by elMano on Jan. 18, 2012 @ 5:15 pm

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