San Jose

San Jose Mayor Unveils New Plan to Crack Down on Crime

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Violent crime is on the rise across the nation, including in the Bay Area.

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo revealed a plan Friday to crack down on crime in his city.

The primary goal of his new plan is to focus on what he calls the "revolving door" at jail for violent felons, with an emphasis on extreme repeat offenders.

Liccardo noted a police report that identified 30 people who had been arrested at least 10 times, but were immediately released because of a pandemic no-bail schedule designed to keep jails from overcrowding during a COVID-19 outbreak.

"The bail schedule as I know it will expire on May 31," he explained. "I think that's an opportunity for us to, at least, present data to judges so they understand what exactly we're seeing out on the street, in the communities and hope that they will consider some of that data."

Legal analyst and former prosecutor Steven Clark points out the courts are "supposed to be independent" of law enforcement.

"But what Mayor Liccardo is saying is that certain people should not be released because of a public safety concern," Clark explained. "So law enforcement needs to communicate that early on to the courts. If they want to have a partnership here, and not just blame the courts when someone leaves or doesn’t come back or commits a new crime while they’re out on some kind of release."

The mayor's plan also calls for getting more state and federal funding to expand drug treatment programs, and give judges more options in sentencing.

"Right now, for example, the state has made available a $2.2 billion fund to address mental health and drug treatment needs."

Clark supports that.

"Addressing that through rehabilitation and treatment is the way to go here," he said. "I think it'll be a big, important factor in decreasing violent crime."

The mayor's plan would also help small businesses boost their security technology to protect the shops, and provide evidence in robbery and burglary cases.

City leaders will address the plan over the next few weeks.

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