San Francisco’s Prosecutor Shortage Nearing “Tipping Point”

San Francisco’s chief prosecutor Chesa Boudin is sounding the alarm over a “severe” staffing shortage in the District Attorney’s Office.

Faced with an economic crisis, Mayor London Breed recently issued a hiring freeze for everyone except essential workers. But before that even happened, the department was hit with significant turnover and a round of firings from Boudin himself.

The dearth of prosecutors has affected the homicide and domestic violence units as well as the General Felonies Unit, which now has just one prosecutor overseeing more than 200 cases a year.

“Staff who have left the office have expressed deep concern about the extreme caseloads, and a fear that the high volume of cases will cause them to make an inadvertent mistake in the handling of their cases; mistakes that can have severe ramifications for their license to practice law,” Boudin recently wrote to Mayor Breed. He described the situation as nearing a “tipping point.”

Breed’s office said the massive budget deficit has forced all departments to downsize and prioritize. Mayor Breed has filled four out of eight staffing requests from Boudin, the office added.

Read more about the staffing shortages at the San Francisco Examiner.


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