City officials determined in June that enforcing quality-of-life citations is both expensive and ineffective, costing $20.6 million annually without reducing the number of homeless on San Francisco's streets. Having sat on this information from the city's Budget Analyst for six months, the Examiner reports that Mayor Ed Lee on Friday announced his intention to order SF judges to enforce the citations.

Those cited for quality-of-life violations, such as public urination, are frequently homeless and often do not have the money to pay the accompanying fines. Many cited simply don't show up for court, and in October Judge Christopher Hite dismissed 65,000 warrants for quality-of-life offenses. "Sixty-six thousand warrants are just worthless,” Presiding Judge John Stewart told the paper. “If somebody thinks that’s the solution to the homeless problem … they’re just not making sense.”

And yet Lee believes these warrants are all about caring. "We need to surround individuals we know have problems and we need to circle them with a disciplined compassion,” he told reporters Friday. As such, Lee said he's "going to require the courts not to summarily dismiss citations."

As the Ex points out, Lee doesn't actually have the power to overturn Hite's order, and anyway, when police do arrest people for failing to show up in court for quality-of-life crimes the Sheriff's Department doesn't book them because there isn't enough space in the jail. “The Sheriff’s Department doesn’t have the time, or money, or inclination,” Stewart explained.

But that apparently doesn't matter to Lee, who the Chronicle reports cut funding for a proposed expansion to the Homeless Outreach Team in his new proposed budget. The city can spend money to further criminalize those living on the street (the aforementioned $20.6 million annually), you see, but increased funding for services like HOT are out of the question in the current fiscal environment.

But won't enforcing those citations generate revenue? Even if you ignore the question of whether or not a city should balance its budget on the backs of its most vulnerable citizens, the answer is probably not. “You’re trying to impose a fine on someone that doesn’t have any money,” Stewart explained. “That’s just a debtors prison. That went out in the 19th century.”

Not if the Mayor has his way.

Related: Mission District Neighbors Are Now Opposing Nuns Trying To Feed The Homeless