Police chief-turned-District Attorney Gascón hasn't done a whole lot worth mentioning since our dreamy former Mayor put him in the DA's office. (Actually, up until this point, it's what he hasn't done that has made headlines.) Today, with less than a month to go before the city decides whether or not he gets to keep his post, Gascón's office has announced a pilot program designed to keep chronically absent 9th graders in school.
The program, a joint effort between the the DA's office, the S.F. Unified School District and the YMCA, already has truant freshmen from Burton High School attending 23% more days of class than they did the previous school year. The part that really stands out to us, however, is how the program targets delinquent kids: According to KTVU, "students were selected using the school district's new data system that identifies early warning indicators of truancy and notifies parents immediately when their children miss school." So it's like Compstat for high school freshman, basically.
Still, at least one report claims that 94 percent of San Francisco homicide victims between 2003 and 2007 were high school dropouts. Or as Gascón himself framed it, "There's a very straight line between being a truant, being a high school dropout and eventually ending up in prison or even dead." And putting $30,000 of the DA's budget behind the program is cheaper than incarceration down the road.