Would you hire a convicted felon just because he was being called a “justice-involved person?”
The Board of Supervisors of San Francisco seems to think having new “sanitized” language will help ex-felons public relations.
Crime-ridden San Francisco has introduced new sanitized language for criminals, getting rid of words such as “offender” and “addict” while changing “convicted felon” to “justice-involved person.”
The Board of Supervisors adopted the changes last month even as the city reels from one of the highest crime rates in the country and staggering inequality exemplified by pervasive homelessness alongside Silicon Valley wealth.
The local officials say the new language will help change people’s views about those who commit crimes.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, from now on a convicted felon or an offender released from custody will be known as a “formerly incarcerated person,” or a “justice-involved” person or just a “returning resident.”
A juvenile “delinquent” will now be called a “young person with justice system involvement,” or a “young person impacted by the juvenile justice system.”
And drug addicts or substance abusers, meanwhile, will become “a person with a history of substance use.”
“We don’t want people to be forever labeled for the worst things that they have done,” Supervisor Matt Haney told the newspaper. “We want them ultimately to become contributing citizens, and referring to them as felons is like a scarlet letter that they can never get away from.”