User menu

June 5, 2013

Full Panel - June 5, 2013
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
9:00 – 11:00 am
City Hall, Room 408
San Francisco, CA 94102


Members present:

Kathy Black, La Casa de las Madres
JaMel Perkins, Partners Ending Domestic Violence
Dr. Antonio Ramirez, POCOVI
Andrea Shorter, Commission on the Status of Women
Ken Theisen, Bay Area Legal Aid
Beverly Upton, Domestic Violence Consortium
Dr. Emily Murase, Department on the Status of Women

Members excused:
Dion Roberts, Mary Elizabeth Inn

Other Attendees/Speakers:
Maria Bee, Chief of Victim Services; Cecile Soto, Operations Manager of the Department of Emergency Management; Marshall Khine, Chief of the Domestic Violence Response Unit at the District Attorney’s Office; Emma Brenner-Bryant, Stephanie Nguyen, Christine Wagner, and Ali Skewes-Cox, interns at the Department on the Status of Women

Dr. Emily Murase called the meeting to order at 9:07 am. The Oversight Panel approved the agenda with no changes. [Theisen/Perkins/All]

The minutes from the February 6, 2013 meeting were approved without objection. [Theisen/Perkins/All]

A. Department Updates
1. Department on the Status of Women
a. Staffing
Dr. Murase reported that Minouche Kandel will be joining the Department as the Violence Against Women Policy Analyst in mid-June.
b. FY 2013-2014 Budget
Dr. Murase stated that the Mayor's budget included an increase of almost $1 million in additional monies to enhance existing services and to expand funding for legal services, transgender services, and human trafficking intervention.
2. District Attorney’s Office
Marshall Khine identified himself as the Chief of the Domestic Violence Response Unit (DVRU). Staff at the DVRU has increased from 9 to 12 prosecutors, and have all relocated to the 2nd floor of the Hall of Justice. The additional prosecutors will be focused on misdemeanor domestic violence cases.

Mr. Khine remarked that the department is excited to have Assistant District Attorney (ADA) Linda Allen join the Unit. ADA Allen has extensive expertise in prosecuting domestic violence homicides and will continue her work at DVRU.

Maria Bee reported that community-based attorneys arranged through a collaboration with La Casa de las Madres have been on-site to assist victims for several years. These attorneys will be joined by an attorney from the Cooperative Restraining Order Clinic on a weekly basis. Ms. Bee added that a child support worker will also be on-site to assist victims on a weekly basis. Ms. Bee invited the public to an Open House at the DVRU at 3 pm on June 27, 2013.

3. Department of Emergency Management
Cecile Soto, Operations Manager, reported that her department has implemented a pilot program to provide 911 tapes related to domestic violence to the District Attorney's Office every Monday. The department is partnering with the Family Violence Council on a training that will include child abuse, domestic violence, and elder abuse.

B. Committee on Housing for Survivors of Domestic Violence
Panel Member Antonio Ramirez asked that this issue remain on the radar of the Panel. Panel Member Beverly Upton reported that the Domestic Violence Consortium will be hosting Housing Commissioner Joaquin Torres at a community meeting next Thursday. Panel Member Ken Theisen stated that his clients were on long waiting lists, even though the press reported this week that there were many vacant units. Panel Member Kathy Black reported that some of her clients have had to extend their emergency shelter stay due to the fact that public housing units were not ready on time.

C. JUS.T.I.S. Governance Council
Dr. Murase predicted that the implementation of the Justice Tracking Information System will be complete by the end of the year. Ms. Upton reported that JUS.T.I.S. has already been partially implemented in some departments, and that others are working towards fuller integration of the centralized information system.

The next meeting of the JUS.T.I.S. Governance Council will be held on Thursday, June 27, 2013, from 9:30-11:30 am in City Hall, Room 288.

D. Family Violence Council
Ms. Upton reported on the May 15 meeting. She commended the work of the Institute on Aging in creating an iPhone software application that would facilitate reporting of elder abuse and make law enforcement more accessible to the public. Ms. Upton remarked that she hopes a similar application will be created to report and intervene during incidents of domestic violence.

Ms. Upton noted that the last FVC meeting was very well attended with participation from nearly all city departments but requested that Animal Care & Control also be included in an upcoming meeting.

The next meeting of the Family Violence Council will be held on Wednesday, August 21, 2013, from 3-5 pm at 400 McAllister St., Room 617.

E. Batterer Accountability
Dr. Ramirez expressed concerns about the lack of communication between community providers and the Adult Probation Department. Ms. Upton reported that she is working with Adult Probation on evaluating batterer accountability programs, and conducts site visits with a team of two Adult Probation Department staff. There are currently 11 programs, 2 of which service women and none provide Asian language-focused services. Ms. Upton remarked that the Adult Probation Department is now utilizing tools developed by community advocates to better address the needs of the community.

F. Current Issues in Domestic Violence
1. Supreme Court Decision on Tari Ramirez (Beltran)
On June 3, 2013, the California Supreme Court reinstated the second degree murder conviction of Tari Ramirez (Beltran), affirming the original verdict in the October 2000 death of Claire Joyce Tempongko that was overturned on appeal in 2011.

2. Changes to Child Support Services
Ms. Upton flagged changes to Child Support Services so that benefits will be tied to visitation. In short, the more visitation a non-custodial parent has, the less that parent will have to pay in child support. Ms. Upton is concerned that this well-meaning change has not fully accounted for the complexities of domestic violence cases.

A. Officer Involved Domestic Violence Policy
Ms. Upton stated that work continues on this project.

A. Scheduling Department Head Meetings
The Panel will be scheduling regular meetings with heads of various city and county departments, starting with Police Chief Greg Suhr, Adult Probation Chief Wendy Still, District Attorney George Gascon, Judge Kathleen Kelly of the Domestic Violence Court, and Judge Linda Colfax of Family Court. Items of discussion for each of these meetings are outlined below.

1. Police Chief Greg Suhr
a. Officer-Involved DV Policy
b. Ongoing Training
c. Language Access Update
d. Dominant Aggressor Training
e. Staffing

2. Adult Probation Chief Wendy Still
a. Batterer Intervention Program Certification
b. Training for Officers
c. Recidivism
d. Cultural Competency: Asian Language and LGBT Issues

3. District Attorney George Gascon
a. New DV Unit (capacity)
b. Language Access
c. Cultural Competency
d. Responses to Public Defender's Strategies
e. Child Sex Trafficking

4. Judge Kathleen Kelly of DV Court and Judge Linda Colfax of Family Court
a. Referrals to batterer's programs
b. Referrals to child abuse programs
c. Access problems related to paperless systems

Robin Brasso asked about meetings with the Police Chief. She also asked about the response times for the Special Victims Unit when a restraining order is violated. Ms. Brasso announced that the National Council of Jewish Women will honor Dr. Murase on Sunday, June 30 at a luncheon at the Presidio Golf Course.

The meeting adjourned at 10 am. [Theisen/Perkins/All]

Back to Top