SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Over a dozen employees were fired by San Francisco’s new District Attorney Brooke Jenkins.
Staff turnover is not uncommon when a new DA takes office. In total, fifteen staffers were terminated by Brooke Jenkins, according to a recent report.
“When it comes to me personally, what I am most worried about is the treatment of kids under this new district attorney,” said Ryan Khojasteh, former San Francisco District Prosecutor.
Khojasteh was former SF District Attorney Chesa Boudin’s first new hire into the juvenile unit, where he worked the past two years. That is, until he was fired for reasons he can’t quite put his finger on.
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“All I can say is that I was a regular attorney. I had no power to make decisions. The only thing that I ever had been vocal about was seeking to maintain the progress that we made in the Juvenile Justice System, and then I was fired,” said Khojasteh.
It was in the July 4 SFGate op-ed before Jenkins was appointed that Khojasteh asked Mayor London Breed to take consideration of the juvenile unit’s accomplishments when choosing Boudin’s successor. Khojasteh said this helped drastically reduce recidivism rates and decreased the city’s juvenile hall population by 57%.
“Please make sure you appoint somebody that will at least keep these programs and this progress alive, and then I was part of a political massacre,” said Khojasteh.
He was foreshadowing what he is concerned will be a return to a system heavy on locking up juveniles as a primary deterrent to crime.
“The whole point of the Juvenile Justice System is rehabilitation. The focus should be helping these kids, so we’re not fueling the school to prison pipeline,” said Khojasteh.
KRON4 reached out to the DA’s office to give Brooke Jenkins a chance to address these concerns and is awaiting a reply. In a previous statement regarding staffing change, D.A. Brooke Jenkins wrote in part:
“I promised the public that I would restore accountability and consequences to the criminal justice system while advancing smart reforms responsibly. My new management team, which will include the addition of three women of color, with decades of prosecutorial experience at the highest levels, will help our office deliver on that promise…”