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Meeting Information


2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999  

held at City Hall rm 400 1 Dr. Carlton B Goodlett Place San Francisco, CA 94102

The minutes of this meeting set forth all actions taken by the Commission on the matters stated, but not necessarily the chronological sequence in which the matters were taken up

1. (ACTION) Roll Call
The meeting was called to order at 5:35 pm by the President. Comms. Chuck, Dupre, Bonilla, Ricci were present at the gavel. Comm. Grossman was excused. Comm. Richard arrived at 5:56 pm
2. (ACTION) Review and approval of January 16, and February 19, 2002 meeting minutes
Comm. Ricci noted that on p3 of the 1/16 mins, second to her last comment, she asked the Dept if they had a policy regarding disabled populations, in place. With this correction, the minutes were approved.
On the 2/19 minutes, Comm. Hale noted that he had commended the Dept and their efforts to produce a budget that reflected community concerns for program cuts, and that the Commission was pleased with the results. With this correction, the minutes were approved.
(public comments)
3. (DISCUSSION) Chief Probation Officer’s Report:
a. Status report on Juvenile Hall replacement project
Chris Bigelow briefly reported that the scope of the project is still undergoing revisions. The results will shave $ 2 mil off the total, which is now at $42.75 mil. The JH relocation is continuing and will complete in late June. Superior court is half way through. Dept 29B is done; Dept 30 is scheduled for later this summer.
Comm. Chuck asked if it was true that there would be no automated dishwashing in the new facility.
Bigelow said that the plan is to upgrade the dishwashing facilities with new equipment.
b. Highlights from last Commission meeting to present
·           First Hearing by Bayview Youth Accountability Board 2/6/02
                    The Chief reviewed how an initiative called Community Partnership Initiative grew out of meetings on DMC in or about 1999, and that many organizations in the Bayview responded to it. They have now started a diversion process called the Bayview Youth Accountability Board. They will do dispute resolution, case resolution as an alternative to formal court. They have only done 2 cases to date, but it is operational.
          Next couple of items were some Departmental follow up issues identified in the Strategic Plan, prepared sometime ago and presented formally to the Commission earlier this year, in a January Commission meeting. This plan was prepared in consultation with NCCD.
·           Lunch/Meeting with Probation Officers 2/8/02
                    This is one of the activities addressing the need for ongoing communication between line staff and the Chief. There have been two held so far, one with counselors.
·           Coffee/Meeting with Juvenile Hall Counselors 2/13/02
·           Community Providers Budget Briefing 2/14/02
          held at Southeast Community Center
·           SEIU 790 Budget Briefing 2/21/02
                    not done yet.
·           CARC Site Visit by Delegation from Chicago 2/21/02
c. Trends/ Emerging Issues/ Upcoming Events
· Upcoming Budget Hearings
d. Special Report
· Report on Placement Initiatives by Nancy Yalon
From the 1999 Strategic Plan, the Dept instituted the first effective obstacle to placement; Robeson/Rivera Academy. It was created with all the elements of a Level 12-placement site, so Middle School students who were at risk of placement could remain in their homes, or later placed in local foster homes rather than group homes.
This is the end of the 3-yr grant for that project, and out of home placement has been reduced. Findings: treatment group went to placement at 4% rate while the control group (no services) went to placement at 20%. The treatment group advanced an average of 3 grade levels in proficiency, in 3 semesters.
In 2001, a second school (Project Impact HS) opened. Set up the same as the Academy.
Intake procedures are new in 2001, as part of the Challenge Grant. Attempts to pull youth that are most at risk for out of home placement. Those in the program would get a psycho educational assessment, a plan of care meeting each week to case manage (FITS: 6 POs, 3 clinicians, 3 case managers with an LCSW to oversee the count in Juvenile Hall). Bayview Hunters Point Foundation, Instituto de Familiar, Community Youth Center. Services are coordinated with the Girls Services in JH (Julie Posadas).
A clinical placement coordinator was hired (for placement procedures) to identify therapeutic goals, figure out who will go to placement and begin early work with them before the dispositional hearing. They created an intake process in the Placement unit to place all first time youth. They have a part time staff (a retired Senior Supervising PO) to coordinate out of state, sub acute, and adult transitional mental health services for the youth. Placement sites are invited to come to YGC to look over the files and learn about those kids awaiting placement, rather than just sending them files to decide upon. They want to add a PO to do gender specific cases. As of today, the number in JH awaiting placement is down to 22. This is lower than it has been in the past.
Comm. Hale mentioned that the JJC is looking at placement and will issue their report sometime in the future.
(public comments)
4. Public Comment on any matter within the subject matter jurisdiction of the Juvenile Probation Commission.
Margaret Brodkin read a statement into the record (see supportive documents).
Another Coleman Advocate representative praised Comm. Eli Aramburo’s long and hard work on the Commission, and her courage to speak up and ask questions, when few others did. She congratulated the new Commissioner and said she hoped that he would be as honest and truthful, and do something for the kids. She expressed her disappointment and suspicion that there were a few "in cahoots" with what happened to Comm. Aramburo.
5. (ACTION) Election of Commission Officers for Yr 2002.
Comm. Dupré said that the Commission members had been polled and based on the polling of the Commissioners, the following slate has been recommended, to retain the current officers. He so moved this recommendation.. Comm. Chuck seconded. There were no comments. The question was called and by voice vote carried 5-0.
6. (DISCUSSION/ACTION) Review of the protocols for the LogCabin Ranch School Advisory Committee, adopted by the Program Committee on Feb. 6, and possible action to approve them for implementation. Comm. Hale said that he had received communication from the City Attorney’s office that raised some questions and concerns about the protocols adopted by the Program Comm. He also asked as a matter of expediency the Dept to draft guidelines that reflected the concerns of the City Attorney’s office. If these conflicts can be resolved tonight, then the protocols can be implemented forthwith. If not, then it should be referred back to Programs.
Areas of concern for the City Attorney’s office: On the purpose, the language refers to research. Question: will Advisory Comm have access to confidential information. Comm. Dupré said that IEPs (individual educational plans) would not be appropriate for inspection. His understanding was that this Advisory Committee would be an advisory committee to the Program Comm, which would, he believes, in June would bring recommendations and its findings to the full Commission. The objective is to look at all aspects: the school, the culinary food, counseling, service providers/CBOs etc. There was language about searching for a Director, which they believed was not appropriate and not the focus and charge. That is what the CPO and human services duties are.
Comm. Hale asked if the term research explicitly excludes confidential information? Is that your (the Committee’s) advice?
He continued: it seems that the basis for the Advisory Comm is to assist the Program Comm. in assessing the effectiveness of the programs at LCRS. Sometimes that includes looking at how well the young people are doing, and the schools is a major part of what gets done there. So, if the Committee believes access to this information is needed, there are certain steps that need to be taken (approval by Juvenile Court).
Comm Richard said that he thought it best to exclude such records.
Comm. Ricci felt that except for those occasions where they may request permission (clearance), they should stay away from using them.
Comm. Hale pointed out that the proposed guidelines suggest that the CPO could approve access to confidential records, and that is incorrect.
Rosa Sanchez, Dep. City Attorney, said that it would be better if the language were cleaned to up reflect that the Committee would not be accessing confidential information.
Her other concern was the suggestion that meetings be held at LCRS. The body would be governed by Brown Act/Sunshine Ordinance and as such any meeting outside of the City/County of San Francisco would have to meet certain exceptions, which she believes it does not meet. So this would not be permitted. If representatives of the Committee (less than a quorum) who already have clearance to be on the grounds and meet with kids, wanted to go down there and report back to the full Committee, that would be okay.
Comm. Dupré said that at the initial Program Comm mtg to discuss this Advisory Committee, he heard that some people from that Advisory Committee had gone down to LCRS and met with students. At this point, he thought the Committee was going to go down to LCRS, talk to the Student Council, staff, get an idea of the types of programs and what their emphases are. At a second meeting, he said they learned there was an interim Director and that they should get input from him. At the third meeting, Comm. Dupré recommended that the Asst Principal at LCRS not sit on the Committee, that rather the Principal of Woodside Learning Ctr or someone else. Now, he expressed his confusion on how that Committee can really function.
Comm. Hale agreed. He said the goal was to have a group of people dealing with the young people at LCRS take a look at the programs to see whether or not they are working and what can be done to improve them. If, in fact, given the restraints on the Committee to do the kinds of things it wanted to do, whether or not this make sense. He wasn’t sure he was ready to make a decision on this.
Comm. Hale said another issue was the number of members to the Committee. This raised the issue of access to LCRS for them.
R. Sanchez said that a larger committee is not a problem. The issue is that the extended list of members brought in individuals who do not already have clearance to go to LCRS nor have access to records (as the members of the "short list" did). She just wanted them to understand that if this larger group intended to ask for confidential information, it needed those court clearances.
Comm. Hale said that probably the best way to handle this tonight is to have as a proviso in the document, that any access to confidential information by the Advisory Committee must be approved by the Juvenile Court. Commissioners as well as the Advisory Committee ought to know that, if his recollection is correct, it is a misdemeanor to review confidential information... unauthorized review of confidential information. So this is a serious matter. But his understanding is that the Committee can still act, governed by the Sunshine Act. And the primary concern of the City Attorney was the access to confidential information.
R. Sanchez also included the location of meetings as another issue.
Comm. Dupré wanted to define the term "research". He said it was to hold meetings down there to talk to the young men and get their feedback on existing programs, existing needs, academic improvement, conditions, esprit de corps. He asked if there would be a problem with bringing youth from LCRS up here for meetings. R. Sanchez reiterated her comment that small groups (less than a quorum) should go down to LCRS and report back to the full committee (being mindful of confidentiality).
Comm. Hale clarified that 6 would be allowed of the 12 members. R. Sanchez agreed.
Comm. Chuck asked the President if the Program Comm would be open to having this referred back to committee and tabling this discussion until the next meeting.
Comm Richard agreed it should be.
Comm. Chuck moved that this be tabled until the next Commission meeting at which time the Program Committee will report and give recommendations.
Public Comment: Ntanya Lee, Coleman Advocates: acknowledged the issue of confidentiality brought up in a previous meeting with Comm. Aramburo, but also was reminded that in one case the only way the true picture of what was not being provided a youth, was derived from looking at his record. She said that while confidentiality is important, she hoped that there wouldn’t be barriers set up so that the Committee couldn’t get at the full picture. Comm. Hale said that (this is) much like the Juvenile Justice Commission which does have to obtain a court order to see confidential information. In terms of Ms. Lee’s comments, this concern was raised by the City Attorney once it was understood that Commissioners had access to confidential information without going through the appropriate process.
Comm. Hale asked for a second to the motion to table. Upon second, and voice vote, the motion carried 6-0.
7. (DISCUSSION) Presentation from the Center for Young Women’s Development regarding an anti-harassment policy proposal.
Comm. Hale said that the City Attorney informed him that the City already has a standing anti-harassment policy, and this pre-empts the Dept from establishing another one. There have been discussions regarding how to implement programmatic activities to address the concerns encompassed by the proposed policy. Comm. Hale asked for all the speakers for this issue to come forward, and maybe afterward they could "get to it" if not by adopting a Dept. policy.
There were a number of speakers who all spoke in support of this issue and how it resulted from the experiences of young LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning) youth in the juvenile justice system.
Jessica Nowlan Green, Asst Director of the Center mentioned several programming suggestions togo along with the policy that would serve to affectuate the policy in action.
Rebecca Levinson, with Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights mentioned that these issues were already highlighted in a Human Rights Commission report in 1997. They’re recommendations are the same as being made today.
Sara Colby with Legal Services for Children also spoke in favor of the policy.
Kim Mae Aung felt there was no conflict between the established policy and a more specific policy regarding detained youth.
A teacher with the Writers’ Corps spoke about the mistreatment of youth in juvenile hall.
The Chief said that he met with Ms Sanchez and Levinson and told them the Dept shares their concern for this. And he made a commitment to work with the CYWD in a dialog to establish a process and docmentation that they would agree to, by the end of March. Cassie Coleman will be given that task for the Dept.
Comm Richard gave his support to this and wanted to see it expedited.
Comm. Dupré commended the speakers, and said that he was against anything that would impact the self esteem of young people in San Francisco.
Comm. Ricci also commended the speakers, and assured them that the Commission will see that the Dept follows through on this.
Comm. Bonilla also gave his support to the policy and hoped that the speakers and community representatives continue to work with the Commission and Dept, on other issues.
Comm. Chuck gave his commitment to this.
Comm. Hale raised a question of how this might be done. He took the example of the Police Dept. where the Chief of Police can issue general orders. Comm. Hale suggested the CPO draft a letter to staff raising the issues talked about tonight, with examples of the harassment spoken to. The other aspect of this is peer on peer harassment, which he said would entail a longterm conversation between the community, the Dept, and the Commission. He asked the Chief if he could do such a letter.
He directed the Dept to have a working proposal for the Personnel Committee to review, before the March meeting of the full Commission.
The Chief said, the short answer is yes. He can issue a re affirmation of the existing policy and general position statement of this issue and the Dept.’s stand. If the Commission wishes this before Mar 27, it can be done.
8. (DISCUSSION) Committee Chair Reports
· Program Committee: report on the discussions of held in meeting of Feb. 6
Comm Richard commented that there was language in the protocols (Advisory Comm) which said that the Chief would be responsible if things weren’t working right at LCRS, and he spoke to the Chief about it and wanted to see how it could be re written. He didn’t think the Chief should be accountable for it.
Comm. Dupré also said there was inappropriate language in the protocols about the evaluation of the Chief. He also said that he was somewhat appalled at a meeting, that a group functioning as an advisory committee had gone down to LCRS prior to the Commission making a motion to form an advisory committee. They had interviewed young people and staff. We (the Program Committee) have that under control now, but he wanted to bring it to this Commission to let them know. This was some of the difficulty Comm. Dupré had with the language and different things they were doing. The Program Committee was charged with coming up with protocols, and membership to that committee, and a group of people went down and at a previous meeting of the Program Committee submitted a report of their findings. This was backwards, but it is getting straight now.
R. Sanchez referred to the language in the protocols which said it would be used as an evaluation of the Chief. (audio troubles caused a lapse in recording, so the rest of the statement was not recoverable)
Comm. Hale said that the language regarding the evaluation of the Chief caught him off guard. The protocols were to be used to guide the committee in its work at looking at the operations of LCRS. R. Sanchez said that the Chief is responsible for implementing every policy that we (the Commission) approve, and his evaluation will be based on the things the Commission has identified as the objectives and goals for the Chief. This didn’t come before the Commission and he couldn’t remember any other project of the Commission/Dept where specific language was tied in regarding evaluation of the staff involved.
The Chief said, the original charge was given to the Dept to develop a protocol was followed through, and the draft produced for the Program Committee’s review did not contain language about connecting that process to the performance evaluation process. That language was not in the draft that the Dept developed. The draft that was presented to the Program Committee for its review, did contain that language as a result of a revision made prior to that submission. Again, that revision, not from the Dept. with its charge to submit a draft. So the draft that was presented to the Program Committee was different from the draft that was prepared by the Dept. When that draft was presented to the Prog Comm and discussion ensued, specific questions were raised about the Chief’s position on that language. He said he thinks his response was something like, ’well this is what already happens,’ because there is a process where performance measures are negotiated each year by the Personnel Committee, as a whole, so that the entire Commission does already engage in developing performance measures for the Chief’s position. And his sense was that any direction the Commission wanted to give him, as you (the Commission) have done for the last 4 yrs now, in terms of establishing measures, objectives, and rating schedules, there’s an existing process to do that. So, he didn’t see that language as being necessary but said he didn’t have a problem if the Prog Comm wanted to include it, but if it did include it, there should be certain changes in the language. So since he was seeing it that day for the first time he made some suggested changes to the language which had been inserted into the policy and presented that to the Prog Comm. for their consideration. It makes sense to him that the Prog Comm should review the entire document and its process to ensure that we have the things the Prog Comm wants to recommend to the Commission. He doesn’t see the need for that language in that document, (a) because a process already exists into which every Commissioner has input, and (b) he thinks it is not necessary in terms of tying that particular thing to this process, when everybody on the Commission can tie anything they want to in that discussion process. And in fact, that was the essence of the language change that they made. Bottom line, it is appropriate for the Prog Comm to review it again, and he isthankful for that conclusion. He thinks that language doesn’t have a place in that protocol because the intent of the protocol is to manage the process for an advisory committee. That was his response to Comm. Richard.
Comm Richard raised the rumors about animal cruelty, and Comm Dupre went down there (LCRS) with the health dept and everything was clear. The horses are in good health and condition.
Comm. Dupré said that he did meet with the woman making the allegations and he wanted the Prog Comm. to review these allegations with staff and owners of those animals, step by step, at the next meeting, and bring that report back to the Commission.
Comm. Hale clarified that it was the Humane Society that conducted two inspections of the horse program (the stables, the horses) and cleared the program; all issues addressed to their satisfaction. This is a serious matter, because it is a program they have been very excited about. He looks forward to those reports.
· Finance Committee: report on the discussions held in committee on Feb 19
Comm. Ricci stated that they had nothing further to report beyond the last report given.
· Facilities Committee: report on discussions held in committee on Jan. 2.
Comm. Chuck said that there were ongoing health and safety concerns and budgetary restraints that will prevent addressing those concerns. He gave the Dept a lot of credit for getting their paperwork together to keep on top of these matters.
9. (DISCUSSION) Announcements, requests for future agenda items.
Comm. Hale asked the Chief to provide an update on the future prospects for the PAW with the Dept, at the next Commission meeting.
Comm. Ricci reported that she attended a Youth Commission mtg. Because at the last Finance Committee it was stated that youth need to be given the opportunity to attend and participate at important meetings like that one. Comm. Ricci said that it is important to hear from youth and was happy to see the participation at this Commission meeting. The Youth Commission did discuss issues dealing with youth in the system, and said it would be good to establish a closer relationship with the Youth Commission. She was impressed by how young people would not let themselves be used by adults, that they could think and speak for themselves. She encouraged others to go to Youth Commission meetings and hear for themselves.
Comm. Hale asked Comm. Ricci to be the formal liaison for this Commission, to the Youth Commission. Additionally, he named Comm. Bonilla to the Program Committee, and named Comm Richard, Chair.
(public comments)
NTanya Lee said she had a heavy heart from hearing of the way Comm. Aramburo was not reappointed to the Commission. As a community advocate she has valued Comm. Aramburo using this Commission as an opportunity to bring such substantive issues before the public, and really mourn her absence. She is dismayed by it, and not clear what happened. She really hopes there is someone with her (Comm. Aramburo’s) level of advocacy will step up and hold "you all" (the Commission) accountable for their decisions. She supported Comm. Aramburo’s efforts to bring some of the issues up. She didn’t agree with everything Comm Aramburo said, but as public servants the role is to bring important issues before the public. She hopes (the Commissioners) will continue to use this Commission as an opportunity to bring important issues to the public so they can have input.
She welcomed Comm. Bonilla to the Commission and challenged him to take this role very seriously. She hopes he will be a team player, honest, forthright, respectful to other young people, and to deal with policies substantively.
Comm. Bonilla said he is honored and flattered to have the opportunity to serve San Francisco. It is a privilege to give back. Coming from the housing projects, but with a good family, he has been able to move forward. He continues to mentor some of the Youth Commissioners. His ethos is to give back. He welcomed N. Lee’s challenge. And challenged her, Coleman and other youth groups to work with him. In regards to his perceived youth and ’inexperience’ he said that it flies in the face of the belief that youth can arise to the task of leadership.
10. (ACTION) Adjournment
Comm. Hale said that he has heard the comments and knows that there are concerns, and said we do not have a choice, we have to work through it. There’s a lot of work to do as the Dept. He reminded the Commissioners that their process is a dynamic one, involving the community, other depts, commissions, and coordination with other jurisdictions about how to serve young people. He is excited about Comm. Bonilla’s appointment, and the work of the Commission. He wanted to adjourn this meeting in honor of Comm. Arámburo. As difficult a time as it is, people trying to figure out their questions and concerns, but she has contributed a great deal to this Commission and Dept, and that can’t be underscored. He believes that at the next Commission, depending on how people feel, that they will recognize and she will be afforded the same kind of respect we deport to every Commissioner that has departed from their work on the Commission. But there’s work to be done everywhere, and it’s not just this commission. As a matter of fact, the Commission is limited without the advocate groups, without the young people’s involvement, without the parents, and that’s what ’ we’ve’ been talking about. Creating a juvenile justice system that respects these parties and understands the roles that they play. So, he doesn’t believe that any commissioner’s departure from this Commission ends their valuable contribution. But (we) are in a democracy and people have a right to differ and he’s looking forward to this Commission moving forward.
If there is no objection, he asked to adjourn the meeting at 8:01 pm.