A young Latina with straight, long dark hair wears a lilac top and a jean jacket. She is smiling standing on a sidewalk near the intersection of a city street.

SF Students, SRO Residents Train to Reverse Drug Overdoses

Experts in overdose prevention say many teen and adult lives could be saved if more people know how to identify and respond to overdoses. In San Francisco, an array of programs are providing overdose response training to teenagers, college and medical-school students, and residents in neighborhoods that have a high rate of overdose deaths.

Ink drawing of a stenotype machine with hands disappearing

California’s Court Reporter Shortage Limits Access to Justice in Domestic Violence Cases

Advocates for women’s and children’s rights say providing free or low-cost access to transcripts in hearings is key to equal justice. Unlike many states, California has in recent years repeatedly failed to guarantee adequate documentations of court proceedings, putting victims of domestic violence at a distinct legal disadvantage.

Despite failing for years to make transcripts standard practice, the Legislature may be headed for a breakthrough.

At a news conference about the passage of Piqui's Law, three teenage girls and a middle school-aged boy stand behind a clear lectern holding microphones from news outlets and bearing the seal of the city of Pasadena. They and others in the crowd hold signs, some of which read "Governor Newsom: Please sign SB 331 (Rubio) Piqui's Law" and "Pass Piqui's Law (Senator Susan Rubio)." They are referring to a bill that was introduced by California State Sen. Susan Rubio.

Children Violently Removed by Court Order Celebrate New California Bill Prohibiting Practice

Two children who were violently removed from their grandmother’s Santa Cruz home in October 2022 and placed into a court-ordered program to recant parental abuse allegations celebrated a victory last month when Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill prohibiting such programs.

On Oct. 13, Maya, 16, and Sebastian Laing, 12, and their allies celebrated the passage of Senate Bill 331, aka Piqui’s Law, which prohibits California family court judges from forcing kids into so-called reunification camps and ensures that judges and those serving as expert witnesses undergo critical training on domestic violence and child custody.

Two women are speaking to each other at a protest rally on a plaza outside of San Francisco City Hall. They are Supervisor Hillery Ronen, who holds a pink sign that reads "We Love Marginalized Communities," and Vitka Eisen, CEO of HealthRight 360, who holds a sign that reads "Harm Reduction Works." They are both wearing jeans and black T-shirts. Many of the people standing around them are similarly dressed.

City Officials Lack Urgency to Prevent Overdose Deaths, Say Safe Consumption Proponents

Several weeks after a crucial legal hurdle blocking safe consumption sites in San Francisco was seemingly resolved, proponents said they were dismayed that city leaders and public health officials were still not greenlighting centers that could reduce deaths related to drug use.

Overdose deaths have reached 620 this year — on track to have the highest annual tally since counting began, with fentanyl causing the vast majority of fatalities, according to the chief medical examiner’s latest report.

A San Francisco Sheriff's Department prisoner transport bus arrives at the San Francisco County Jail in San Bruno. The cream-colored bus is driving through the entrance, which is flanked by two brown brick walls. A series of tall, narrow traffic cones appear on the left side of the frame. District Attorney Brooke Jenkins criticizes the use of pretrial diversion programs offering defendants accused of selling drugs rehabilitation, counseling and training rather than jail sentences. Many such suspects are held at the San Francisco County Jail in San Bruno.

DA’s Opposition to Drug Diversion Programs Undermines Public Safety, Say Legal Advocates

San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins has criticized and diminished the use of diversion programs that offer criminal defendants accused of selling drugs rehabilitation, counseling and training rather than jail sentences.

Since taking office 15 months ago, Jenkins has reduced the number of referrals to the San Francisco Pretrial Diversion Project by 70%, according to its CEO David Mauroff.

And as San Francisco’s rate of overdose fatalities reaches more than two deaths a day, Jenkins is pushing for defendants accused of selling drugs to remain in jail. But some legal experts say that’s a bad strategy both for the defendants and for public safety.

A rally at City Hall with a sign reading "Every Overdose Death Is a Policy Failure" #fundharmreduction

Drug Crackdown Has Sparked Violent Turf Warfare in Central San Francisco, Supervisor Says

A drug crackdown in the Tenderloin and South of Market has resulted in more than 600 arrests, with authorities seizing more than 200 pounds of fentanyl since the initiative launched in May, Mayor London Breed said.

But the coordinated effort, involving city and state law enforcement agents, appears to be leading to violent clashes, said Supervisor Dean Preston, whose district includes the Tenderloin. “They’re poking a hornet’s nest,” he said in an interview.