San Diego judge will help state figure out how to help homeless population

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San Diego Superior Court Judge Desiree Bruce-Lyle is among 11 members of a state group that will recommend ways the courts can help people who are homeless or at risk of losing their homes. Photo: bscc.ca.gov

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A San Diego Superior Court judge is among 11 members of a state judicial work group that will study and recommend ways the courts can assist those experiencing homelessness or the possibility of losing their homes, it was announced Friday.

Desiree Bruce-Lyle and her fellow work group members will examine how laws, court services, technology and judicial branch property could be better used to address homelessness.

The judges will examine:

— how the judicial branch might work with the governor and state legislature to address homelessness;

— review how to improve court service access for those without shelter;

— identify best practices for how existing court services can assist the homeless;

— assess whether changes in laws, regulations or rules would help address homelessness; and

— evaluate whether judicial branch property and resources might be used to expand homelessness assistance.

The work group is expected to make recommendations to California Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye and the Judicial Council by next summer.

“I said earlier this year that our courts often serve as centers of social justice and we frequently see those who are in crisis. The pandemic and its economic fallout have only made matters more difficult for some of our residents,” Cantil-Sakauye said.

“I am asking this work group to look at ways the judicial branch can partner or complement any efforts the governor and Legislature may make to alleviate this crisis. I am also asking the work group to look at how we can improve the administration of justice to better serve those in crisis,” she said. “Some of our larger superior courts already have collaborative or problem-solving courts that coordinate rehabilitation services. The group will study what already works and how it can be augmented. The formation of the work group has already been delayed by the pandemic, so time is of the essence.”

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