(DISCUSSION) Chief Probation Officer’s report:
The Chief reported that Allen Nance would return to the Dept around Feb. 19. He said that from now on he will have division managers report during the Commission meetings.
G. Bieringer on actions to address the JH population: reasons for spike in population.. since August to Dec stayed high. 27% increase in youth brought to JH (878 total). Many of them are being filed as 707b (considered adult). 9 resolved, 8 still pending. There are contested jurisdictions/dispositions. This creates delays. The courts are now committing youth to juvenile hall for various lengths of stay (90 to 360 days). Probation Dept actions: increasing attention to weekly case reviews to try releasing kids. Enhancing cases from one division to another.. to cut case processing time. Many more undocumented kids… worked out an agreement with Huckleberry House to work with these kids. Publishing a daily grid of detention alternatives to let people know what’s available for use that day.. so others in the system know.
System steps: been having meetings with many City departments to analyze the problem to see where any changes can be made. Agreements made: need more interaction of system partners so information from each can be shared and extracted when needed. Partners need more training.
Comm Queen asked why there were more 707s. Bieringer said that many of the youth are co-defendants in cases of violence. He also said that because of better technology many more are caught now where before they were not ID’ed (eg. muni buses, school safety officers). The Chief said they are looking at how charges/over charging is done so that they can get a clearer picture of how this impacts population. On pleas in 707 cases, a commitment to a secure facility results in them being committed to JH.
Comm Woodson: any timetable for the training? Bieringer: not yet. He’ like it to happen by spring.
Comm Stiglich expressed her concern as to looking at initial arrest charges and what the ultimate adjudicated charges are as if that somehow informs the first decision. She said the reality is that the final charges are many times the efforts of all to not give the youth a “strike”. It doesn’t mean that the crime was not really what was originally charged, so can be misleading. Bieringer said that there was a court ruling today that if a youth admits to a “707b” then that is counted as a strike. Just being adjudicated on a 707b will not be the same. Until this is appealed, the decision will begin to impact our operations.
Comm Queen suggested that the Chief review the violence prevention plan put forward by the African American Community Police Relations Board for many of the points on coordination of services, etc.
D. Doyle on the current operations of JH: move was completed on Dec. 29. all are “enjoying” the facilities (the space, the newness). There is a better climate and atmosphere in it and its configuration makes for easier supervision on the units. Logistics still having issues: population movement from units to school, to courts, to visiting areas.. staff needs to do this. Some of the mechanical systems are still acting up… electronic controls for doors being fixed. The outdoor areas are now in process of being created. Overall the deficiencies are overshadowed by the positives. Still a “work in progress”. (he gave a similar report at Programs Comm)
N. Yalon said that CARC referrals are steady (approx 30 /mo) they continue to meet with CARC staff on processing. The girls unit ad hoc committee drafted a resolution for the Commission. Its next meeting will be Feb. 28.
Report on LCR will be made next month.
Comm Stiglich asked Doyle to keep the Commission apprised of what comes up re. staffing needs.
Jessica H. Al-Tawqi suggested looking at the Controller’s report on JH staffing, because it had found that less staff would be needed in the new facility. Maybe another analysis has to be done.
She also said that the co-ed housing of youth on the units seems to be problematic. The providers group feels that this needs to be addressed.
Denise Coleman, Huckleberry Youth: regarding meeting Chief mentioned with police. She said that arrests are up in SF, despite a national reduction. She mentioned that this is still an issue for disproportionate confinement, and that there is still a tendency for overcharging by police.