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Published on February 28, 2024
San Francisco's DA Brooke Jenkins Launches Community-Based Victim Advocates to Aid NeighborhoodsSource: Google Street View

To bolster support for victims of crime in San Francisco, District Attorney Brooke Jenkins has rolled out a new initiative to station community-based victim advocates in several neighborhoods. According to an announcement on the San Francisco District Attorney's Office website, the advocates will be ingrained within trusted local organizations to provide resources and facilitate engagement with the DA's office.

Serving tirelessly, victim advocates are set to work directly from the premises of established community groups such as Central City SRO Collaborative in the Tenderloin and the Samoan Community Development Center in Visitacion Valley. These advocates help victims, though they may not have a suspect identified or even a police report filed. This move is poised to create avenues for a more intimate connection between the community members affected by crime and the justice system, likely in tandem with ongoing efforts to calm public concern over safety.

Greggory Johnson, Central City SRO Collaborative Special Projects Organizer, expressed his gratitude toward the initiative. "I would like thank District Attorney Jenkins and her staff for hearing our voices and taking action," Johnson told the San Francisco District Attorney's Office. His satisfaction with the DA's commitment to the Tenderloin underscored as an advocate will be available every Friday to meet with victims at the collaborative's location.

Support is anchored deeply within the community framework, with program managers like Gloria del Mar Lemus from La Voz Latina celebrating the integration of these services. "Having the Tenderloin community access to Victim Services from the District Attorney’s Office is a light of hope and justice for all the people who have suffered in silence for many years," said Lemus, in her praise for the potential healing the initiative could afford the Tenderloin neighborhood.

The collaboration not only provides in-person advocacy but also educates victims on their rights under Marsy’s Law, assists with the California Victim Compensation Board applications and offers continuing support through the criminal justice process. The Victim Services Division, equipped with staff who speak languages including Spanish and Mandarin, reported servicing over 9,600 victims of violent crime in 2023—a notable increase upon the previous year.