(DISCUSSION) Chief Probation Officer’s Report
Bill Johnston introduced the newly appointed Chief, Bill Sifferman. Sifferman informed the Commission that he would be starting in April and looked forward to the challenge of working with the Commission and Mayor’s office in building a new era of juvenile probation in San Francisco.
a. Juvenile Hall project update
There were technical difficulties which prevented a full presentation by J. Chow Winship, so it was
Tabled the AV presentation till the next meeting. Chow Winship briefly noted that the project is about 58% complete. Move in is now expected to be mid Sept (about 3 wks behind schedule). Final work completed in April 2006. Additional funding request is now before the Finance Comm of Bd of Supes. It is a “package” with DPW, $5+ mil, to work on San Bruno jail and the 4th St. bridge. $2.7 mil of that is for the JH project, to cover change orders and project management cost.
Comm Rodriguez asked how the funding for San Bruno jail impacts the JH project. Chow Winship said that the City was going after some bond funds for the total package. She said she hopes it won’t adversely affect this project, even though it has had much publicity surrounding it being over budget.
b. Juvenile Hall population spike
B. Johnston passed out a doc regarding the numbers, and said they will be speaking to Supervisor McGoldrick’s committee Feb. 28, about it. In reviewing the document, Johnston explained the spikes due to abnormally high arrest rates for certain days. And many charges are for serious offenses. Also there are 14 out of country youth who are in for drug charges (and no way to release them). Ques: is there something being done to address this issue? Johnston said they have a task force, which is trying to look at this, but nothing effective has been found yet. There was only one group home capable of serving monolingual youth, but they are not certified now.
Johnston said they welcome anyone wanting to work with the Task Force on this issue.
c. Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative update
G. Bieringer reported that the Evening Reporting Centers have been operating about 1 yr now, and have been extremely successful. Two other counties (Santa Clara, Santa Cruz) came to see how they work, because they want to introduce it to their operations.
The Language Access workgroup (SF is the only JDAI site that is addressing this issue). They are doing a “know your rights” project, targeting parents and youth in the system. They will produce the materials in 6 different languages and use young people to directly develop them, rather than adults, deadline, June.
Focus for the upcoming year will be on: youth with mental health issues, placement issues, 707B trials and detention time, unaccompanied youth (from outside the country), repeaters/multiple failures. Serious analysis of effective community programs for these kids. Casey Foundation will fund one of their technical experts in community programs to come out here and work with the Dept with an analysis.
d. Budget update
Comm Stiglich read a letter from the Budget Office (attached)
listed several requests from Comm Lingad Ricci: that the Dept provide a copy of the Dept’s budget as it stands now, that the Dept refrain from any changes or alterations in positions (eg. transfers or promotions) until the budget is finalized, full report on proposed cuts, especially positions being considered for lay off, and to note that the Commission will be holding special meetings to deal with the budget, vis a vis Chief Sifferman’s input, and the Mayor’s Budget Office. M Lui said they would have to evaluate where they ware with the Mayor’s office. They don’t know what level of cuts need to be made.
Murlene Randle, Dir MOCJ, re iterated the intent of the letter from the Budget Office, that no decisions and changes be made to the Dept budget until Sifferman has a chance to participate in the process. This does not stop the Commission from having discussions about it, but no changes are to be made to the “baseline” budget (as of 2/22/05) until Sifferman starts.
There were none.