San Francisco’s crime rates fall while Sacramento’s “tough-on-crime” DA presides over rising violence

SAN FRANCISCO – June 2, 2022 – A publication released today by the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice compares crime trends during Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert’s conservative prosecutorial term in office with those of San Francisco’s progressive prosecutors (George Gascon and Chesa Boudin) over a key period in California’s criminal justice reform era (2014-2021). DA Schubert has positioned herself as the state’s leading “tough-on-crime” candidate as she criticizes San Francisco’s progressive DA, Chesa Boudin, and seeks to unseat California’s reform-minded Attorney General, Rob Bonta. Yet DA Schubert’s rhetoric and policies have not delivered lower crime or falling crime rates. In fact, San Francisco has sustained larger crime declines overall and achieved lower rates of violent crime than the City of Sacramento since 2014.

Violent crime rates have risen an average of 9% in Sacramento while falling an average of 29% in San Francisco from 2014-2021, a period that spans the tenures of DA Schubert and San Francisco's progressive DA’s.

Note: Solid lines are trendlines that incorporate all data points and present an average change over the 8-year period.

The report finds:

  • Rates of homicide, other violent crimes, and property crimes fell faster in San Francisco than in the City of Sacramento from 2014-2021, even as San Francisco reduced its incarceration rate (-38%) much faster than Sacramento County (-24%).
  • Today, the City of Sacramento has higher rates of violent crime than San Francisco, including for homicide, rape, and aggravated assault.
  • The San Francisco Police Department solves a far smaller share of reported crimes than police in any major California city, presenting the DA with fewer cases to prosecute. Sacramento’s DA receives a higher proportion of reported cases from local police departments, particularly for violent offenses.
  • Sacramento’s heavy reliance on imprisonment cost California taxpayers $151.6 million, while San Francisco’s progressive approach saved the state $163.3 million.

Read the full report >>

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