San Fran City Govt's Response to Rising Crime Rate: Change 'Convicted Felon' to 'Justice-Involved Person'

Crime industry welcomes "person first" terminology

August 21, 2019

San Francisco is a city in decline. The cartoonish wealth of Silicon Valley surrounds an urban landscape beset by rampant homelessness and the highest property-crime rate in the country. Also, poop.

Local officials are doing everything in their power to confront the city's challenges, for example, by targeting a "racist" mural of George Washington at a high school bearing the founding father's name. They are intent on doing something about all the crime as well, just not in the traditional way that most cities confront crime.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors proposed new language guidelines to re-shape the way people talk about those in the crime industry. Words such as "felon," "offender," and "convict" would be replaced by "person first" terminology. Under the proposal, a convicted criminal would be referred to as a "formerly incarcerated person," or "justice-involved individual," or even a "returning resident."

The board's resolution, which is non-binding, was approved last month. The district attorney has endorsed the measure, although the city's mayor has not. The San Francisco Chronicle lays out how the new language guidelines, if implemented, might result in some amusingly convoluted sentences:

The language resolution makes no mention of terms for victims of crime, but using the new terminology someone whose car has been broken into could well be: "A person who has come in contact with a returning resident who was involved with the justice system and who is currently under supervision with a history of substance use."

In other words, someone whose car was broken into by a recently released offender, on parole with a drug problem.

That clear?

Meanwhile, the San Francisco Democratic Party is hosting a "Heart of the Resistance" dinner at the Intercontinental Hotel this evening where House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) will receive a lifetime achievement award. Congrats!