Justice and Courage Committee - August 2, 2019 - Minutes

Meeting Date: 
August 2, 2019 - 9:30am
850 Bryant, Room 551
San Francisco, CA

Family Violence Council: Justice and Courage Committee Meeting

August 2, 2019, 9:30 – 11:00 am   850 Bryant, Room 551, San Francisco, CA



Brad Allred, San Francisco District Attorney

Michele Fisher, Sheriff’s Department

Delia Ginorio, Sheriff’s Department

Heather Grives, Department of Emergency Management

Elise Hansell, San Francisco Department on the Status of Women  

Christina Howard, San Francisco Department on the Status of Women  

Fawn Jade Korr, Bay Area Legal Aid

Chauncy Robinson, Adult Probation Department

Jana Taylor, Adult Probation Department

Ken Thiesen, Bay Area Legal Aid

Beverly Upton, Domestic Violence Consortium


I. Welcome, Introductions/Check-In


II. Update on Jessica Alva case

  • Elise gave background on this agenda item—COSW received a presentation on Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (MMIW) and Jessica Alva’s mother presented.
    • San Francisco is the number ten city for MMIW cases in the nation of the 71 cities that were investigated in the Urban Indian Health Institute’s “Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls” report.
  • Beverly reiterated the need to include the voices of Native leaders in discussions surrounding domestic violence.
    • There is opportunity in the tragedy of Jessica Alva’s death to forge and strengthen partnerships with the Native community beyond interactions when tragedy occurs.
    • The Family Violence Council is prioritizing this gap, looking at how domestic violence, child abuse, and elder abuse intersect with the Native community.
  • Group discussed the intersection of domestic violence and suicide.
    • What are best practices on responding to suicides, especially in cases where there is a history of domestic violence?
    • Existing protocol on responding to suicides, DGO 6.05, has not been updated since 1994.
  • Beverly mentioned that the COSW thinks that this might be worthy of a systems-level investigation and report, similar to Claire Joyce Tempongko.
  • Ken brought up the need to look at protocols around custody in these types of cases because there could be conflict between local laws and the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).
  • Beverly reiterated the need to center the human aspect of this case and said that we need a hero or a change in protocol to ensure that there is justice for Jessica Alva and her family and in the meantime, there are things that we could be doing to ensure that there are resources available for her family and families like hers.


III. Update on DV Manual/Updating DGO 6.09

  • DV Manual workgroup has finalized edits. The manual will be sent up the chain for final review.
  • Will inquire with SVU about the training plan on the new Manual.


IV. Update on providing Domestic Violence police reports in timely manner (Family Code § 6228)

  • Fawn told the group that a lawsuit was filed and there have been some problems with reports that were denied.
    • The way the new implementation bulletin has been drafted, SFPD is the only department in CA that requires survivors to go in person to get their reports, which poses multiple problems (logistically difficult and expensive to get to SFPD headquarters, difficulty of securing childcare, dissuades undocumented survivors from getting their police reports, which is especially problematic because San Francisco is a sanctuary city).
    • The law doesn’t require in-person presentation to get a police report, so Bay Area Legal Aid is working on that and looking at different options for people to obtain their reports (mail, e-mail, etc.).
    • Still negotiating with SFPD, some changes were made after they filed suit
    • The justification by SFPD of their policy is that they don’t want to give the report to someone who is not authorized to get it.
    • Fawn is going on leave at the end of the month (should be back in March) so a new attorney will be taking over the case.
    • Bay Area Legal Aid can get reports by email, they have asked to expand to all lawyers because their emails are easy to verify, advocates should also be able to get it by email because they have a .org email that can be verified. Survivors should also be able to get reports by email.
    • Could create a system for verification (by phone) to verify the identity of someone trying to get a report, would protect undocumented people and all survivors more broadly.
  • Beverly brought up that victims of other types of crime can get their reports via email, so the policy holds DV survivors to a higher standard than other victims of crime.


V. Other Items

  • Important for the Sheriff’s Department to have someone here, Michele Fisher will be here if no one else from the Sheriff’s Department can make it.
  • The Sheriff’s Department has a new vendor (Sentinel) for electronic monitoring.
  • Michele suggested that it would be worthwhile to do some tracking of electronic monitoring, especially for DV cases and noted that 85% of people were on electronic monitoring for violent offenses.
  • Brad informed the group that the DA’s office is still working to have vine updated to include ankle monitoring, not just people who are in custody. In the meantime, they have developed a protocol so that the DA on a case will scan the police report and send it to Lt. Kuhns when someone is put on ankle monitoring so that they have the contact information of the victim to allow the victim to be notified if the offender cuts their ankle monitor.
  • While there is technology to have two-way notification so that survivors can automatically be notified if their abuser cuts their ankle monitor, on the survivor side, it might not actually be beneficial to have a system like that because it could be used against them.
  • SFAPD: might be worth it to look at if ankle monitoring is a good option, data tracking could be useful here, in some courts, ankle monitoring is not an option for DV offenders.


VI. Planning agenda

  • Elise follow up:
    • Send out DGO 6.05.
    • Send out the date of the FVC meeting for anyone who wants to attend—August 21st, 3-5 pm at 400 McAllister, Room 617.
    • Ask Chief Scott about the training associated with the DV Manual when FVC meets with him on 8/12.
  • Ken said that he would like to talk to family court judge about what they do in practice regarding custody of Native children (with regards to the stipulations in ICWA).