The strengths of family and the impact of incarceration on family members are often ignored in the sentencing decision. Similarly, despite decades of research demonstrating that families play an important role in the successful reentry of individuals, they are often overlooked as a reentry resource. A family-focused approach to sentencing and supervision would ensure that family involvement is considered at each decision point in the criminal justice system. Believed to be the only U.S. jurisdiction that is using family impact statements at sentencing, the Adult Probation Department in San Francisco is committed to a family-focused approach. To discuss the department's innovative practices, the author interviewed Wendy Still, the chief adult probation officer of the city and county of San Francisco.
- © 2011 Vera Institute of Justice