San Francisco is a model for counties wrestling with Realignment -- but more challenges and opportunities remain
Hennessy agreed, but added, "The mental health program we have is extremely good, it's just overtaxed because we're seeing many more people, and this is across the state." Mental health isn't the only issue. "The other thing that is a concern is housing for people," Hennessy said, explaining that the city needs both supervised housing and regular low-income housing for former inmates returning to the community. Maintaining the Sheriff's Department progressive legacy in the face of new challenges is one reason why Mirkarimi sees danger in Lee's decision to overturn that election and consolidate more power in the Mayor's Office. "It's important that the independence of the Sheriff's Department be preserved," Mirkarimi said. "Programs can easily be changed by successive mayoral administration if there isn't that check on power." But for now, Brin said San Francisco's various law enforcement officials have been working well to realize the potential of Realignment: "The collaboration between the criminal justice partners has just been really, really great. Everybody is working together to try to accomplish the same thing."