City leaders on Thursday announced that San Francisco Superior Court has forgiven $32.7 million in outstanding debt owed by people who have been in jail or on probation.
This summer, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed legislation to stop charging people local criminal justice fees related to probation, reports and booking fees. An analysis of these fees by the San Francisco Office of the Treasurer and Tax Collector found that collection rates were very low, in large part because individuals could not pay them.
As an extension of this policy, San Francisco’s public defender, district attorney, sheriff, chief probation officer and treasurer worked together to relieve more than 21,000 people of their outstanding court debt.
Jessica Salazar, 33, is one of those people. She said she got out of jail in March 2016 and spent a year in treatment for her addiction to prescription medication.
She said it has been a struggle to find work, to reconnect with her 7-year-old daughter and to prepare for the birth of her second child, who is due early next year.