Who We Are
Our mission is to facilitate positive and effective alternatives to fines, criminal prosecution and detention.
The San Francisco Pretrial Diversion Project (SF Pretrial) was established in 1976 through the joint efforts of socially conscious citizens, the San Francisco Bar Association and the Judges of the Municipal Courts. They began the program under the premise that the goals of community safety and restoration could be achieved by focusing on individual development, education and public service. Throughout SF Pretrial’s history, our staff have been guided by a philosophy of dignity, respect, compassion and accountability. All of our clients have active criminal cases, and we never lose sight of the fact that they face potentially life-altering consequences at a vulnerable point in their lives.
Since its inception, SF Pretrial has grown in order to address the various needs of the Courts and our clients and community. Our mission aligns with the goals of our partners at every level of the San Francisco justice system: ensure that individuals charged with a crime appear for court, achieve maximum rehabilitation and contribute to the safety of our communities.
SF Pretrial has a deep history of partnership and collaboration in San Francisco, and our success is due in large part to our unique position at the nexus of the courts, prosecution and defense. Our full spectrum of services ranges from restorative justice and behavioral health support groups to pretrial diversion and release. We are embedded in the Courts and work adeptly in formal and informal contexts; providing outreach to clients in the streets, liaising with judges and working inside the jail to facilitate pretrial release. Through our experience in these areas and others, we have built deep relationships with community and institutional partners. Neutrality is a key element to SF Pretrial’s success; our independent, nonprofit status allows us to maneuver between the Courts, District Attorney’s Office, and Public Defender or Private Counsel to make recommendations on behalf of public safety and our clients.