Background & Approach
Santa Clara County is located at the southern end of San Francisco Bay and contains the city of San Jose. Santa Clara County aimed to reduce the overall jail population through decreasing the use of money bail, maintaining manageable and low intensity supervision levels, diverting people with mental illness from jail to community treatment centers, increasing law enforcement agencies’ use of the Mission Street Recovery Station (sobering, mental health/drug triage), launching a public defender pre-arraignment representation unit, and continuing remote in-custody arraignments.
Santa Clara County also created strong policies and procedures to reduce racial and ethnic disparities. A new dashboard now visually highlights the inequities in the criminal justice system. The Re-entry Racial Equity Agency Leadership (REAL) Team developed key strategies to enhance opportunities for increasing equity within the county, such as bringing awareness to both staff and clients, streamlining and increasing access to services, and collaborating with other agencies on racial justice work.
Santa Clara County continues to engage with the Safety and Justice Challenge Network to rethink and redesign its criminal justice system so that it is more fair, just, and equitable for all.