Judging one's neighbors is, of course, a favorite pastime of San Franciscans but Newsom-appointed DA George Gascón wants to go ahead and make it official by instituting a volunteer community courts plan for minor offenders. Under the controversial plan, offenses like "misdemeanor drug possession, quality of life and other less serious offenses" will be handled outside of the already bogged-down criminal courts by a panel of volunteers to spare the real courts some time, money and headache.
Volunteers will have the power to dish out community service or restitution as punishment, but there are some glaring safety and community issues involved with the plan that Gascón will be sure to use in his political platform when he runs for a full term as DA. As City Insider mentions:
Gascon acknowledged the risk involved, both socially and politically, in moving minor offenders out of the criminal justice system. All it will take is one kid who got a break on a shoplifting beef to go out and shoot someone and both the program and Gascon's political future will disappear.
Worries about the vengeful convicted aside, we hope there's some kind of checks and balances to keep any spiteful neighbors from getting too drunk with power.