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Meeting Information


2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 

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


(ACTION)  Roll Call
President Queen called the meeting to order at 5:35pm.  Comms Stiglich, Rodriguez, Ricci, and Fetico were present at the gavel.  Comm. Hale arrived at 5:55pm  Comm Chuck was excused.



(ACTION) Review and approval of May 9 and 17, 2005 meeting minutes.

Comm Rodriguez moved to approve them as written, 2nd by Comm Ricci.  Upon voice vote, they were approved.

(public comments)
there was none.


(DISCUSSION) Presentation of Recognition for Comm Ricci.    

Comm Queen commented that being the President of the Commission is not an easy task, and Comm Lingad Ricci has done an excellent job, so it was fitting to acknowledge that.  He read from the inscription on a plaque stating such appreciation. She accepted it graciously and thanked him.

(public comments)
There was none.


Public comment on any matter within the subject matter jurisdiction of the Juvenile Probation there Commission
Jody McCown, a mother of a youth who went through the system, read a statement that recalled the negative experience she had at the hands of various individuals in the system, leading to a breaking apart of her relationship with her daughter. She asked the commission to look into some of the issues she raised so that others would not have to suffer as she did. (copy of letter available at JPC office).

Chief Siffermann said, as the new chief, he wants to re establish trust in the dept.  He offered whatever assistance the dept could offer, within their authority, to help her regarding her requests.

Comm Queen said that the commission would take this under discussion and allow the Chief to follow up.

Otis Raheem, a parent of a 15 yr old, expressed frustration for not being able to find assistance to help him with his son, who is getting out of control.  He’s been told nobody can do anything until the boy commits a crime.  Comm Lingad Ricci asked him to leave his name and number and someone from the dept would contact him to see what might be done.


(DISCUSSION) Chief Probation Officer’s report:

·         summary of the Chief’s first month’s activities

he referred to a list of the activities he’s been involved in, but briefly summing up that he has been trying to assess both internal and external situations facing the dept, getting to know the communities, and learning of procedures and practices currently in play.

·         major items on the CPO’s ‘To Do List’

The other portion of his report is encompassed in the list of things that need to be done (his priorities), including re-establishing a positive, trusting relationship with dept staff.  He also wants to set up clear communications between the dept and the commission, to re-design the dept’s mission statement that identifies specific objectives, to hire an Asst. Chief Probation Officer.  Language access, service to undocumented, unaccompanied youth is high on the list.  Establish a juvenile advisory council, made up of youth who have experience in the system.  The Dept to have a greater presence in the community.

He is looking at the short-term needs at Log Cabin Ranch, to improve the leadership, conditions, and services provided there.  He was very impressed with the youth, during his visit on Family Day, and wants to do what he needs to in order to preserve that resource for the youth of San Francisco.  His goal is to elevate the public’s trust and the dept’s belief in its ability to make a difference.

Comm Hale commented that language access has been discussed for a while and hoped the chief was not starting from scratch.  He also said that the chief shouldn’t be so ambitious about what he can or wants to accomplish.

Comm Lingad Ricci said that the Chief is clear there will be a personnel committee meeting to set up goals and objectives for him, and this is a good start to show us what he wants to do.

Comm Stiglich applauded the chief for the list and said she wants to see him accomplish all of those items. 

Comm Hale still insisted that the list was too ambitious and unrealistic. He said former chiefs did not have as extensive a list of objectives.

Comm Fetiçō also applauded the chief for the list, but wanted to add the issue of dealing with the new Juvenile Hall facility, on the list, and to implement new ways and not the tired old ways for making that facility better run.

Chief Siffermann acknowledged that he has begun discussing the needs of the new facility, with staff.

  Comm Lingad Ricci said that it was unfair to begin comparing the current Chief’s expectations and goals, to previous chiefs and what they chose to do.  She applauded the Chief for his activities in reaching out to dept staff, the community, City Hall, and looked forward to continuing improvement and advancement.

Comm Rodriguez echoed Comm Stiglich’s comments. He wanted to know how #9 on his list was influenced by the Civil Grand Jury’s report.

Comm Queen commented that he had the chance to go to Log Cabin Ranch Family Day, with the Chief, and Comm Chuck was there.  Comm Queen was impressed that the Chief has been very involved in getting a handle on things needing attention, and said this was an excellent list. The Chief said that while this was a risk, to put all the deficiencies out there, he felt obligated to let the Commission know what he was thinking and doing. He invited the Commission to add what they felt was missing.

Comm Queen also commended the Chief for actually going back to his office late Sunday, after returning from LCR, to continue working.

·         report on JDAI 

Garry Bieringer asked if the commissioners had any questions about the 2004 stats he sent them, especially relating to special detention cases, and ethnicities.   There were none.

They have done 3 days of focus group interviews, with a variety of populations.  They are awaiting the report of results, being prepared by the consultant.

The Annie E Casey Foundation held a conference in early May, concentrating on self-inspection of facilities. Setting up benchmarks for evaluating progress/success using DMC as a yardstick.

Comm Hale expressed concern about the self-inspection, whether it is duplication.  

(public comments)
there were none.


(DISCUSSION/ACTION) Proclamation acknowledging May as Foster Care Month.

Michele Brynes, Director of the Honoring Emancipated Youth Collaborative, asked that the commission pass the proclamation for Foster Care Month. May is National Foster Care Month.  In SF there are more than 2000 in foster care.  Each year, 150-200 “age-out” and are on their own. Many face difficult struggles with that.  So May is an opportunity to give recognition to them and their caregivers, and to encourage the community to give them the support necessary to succeed.

She mentioned a program on youth coming out of foster care, being aired on KQED tomorrow night, Thursday, and again next Tuesday at the Youth Commission.

Comm Stiglich moved that the commission approve the proclamation declaring May, Foster Care Month. Comm Rodriguez 2nd.   Upon voice vote, the motion carried 5-0.

(public comments)
there was none.



(DISCUSSION/ACTION) City Youth Now’s proposal to hold an event at the new Juvenile Hall facility.

Meredith Dwyer, Director of City Youth Now, reviewed the proposal they had for a fundraising gala that would be held in the facility before the opening of the new Juvenile Hall.  She recounted that CNY spends more than $350K a year on the needs of youth in the juvenile system (dependency and delinquency), all raised from private individuals and foundations.  No govt. funds are used for this. They want to enlist their wide community of supporters in this event, and anticipate the potential for raising some $50K from it.  They acknowledged the concerns raised by J. Winship, and are willing to work with the Dept to resolve all questions so that this can happen. This can be a very positive tool for raising the public’s awareness of the good things that are going on in the Dept, and their support. They asked for the Commission’s support and endorsement.

Comm Stiglich voiced her support of the event, but referred to the memo of J. Winship.  She said she saw no problem of working through the concerns listed.  Comm Lingad Ricci also supported the idea, but asked again to refer to the Chief, so that everyone is on the same page, and things are all in compliance.

Comm Queen said that there were some key questions raised by the memo, but that the Chief can work with them to get through this.  He also supported the event idea.

Comm Lingad Ricci recommended further discussion with the Chief and City Attorney’s office to make sure things are done right.  Comm Rodriguez suggested referring this to the Commission’s Facilities Comm. to work with Ms Dwyer and the Dept to work out the details.  Comm Lingad Ricci said she would like to emphasize that the Commission should work with the Chief as a team, so that such requests are handled in a coordinated and not conflicting way.  Comm Queen referred this issue to the Facilities Comm.

(public comments)
L. Jackson-Simpson spoke in support of the event, and perhaps to incorporate the dedication of a space at the same time.  This would also give opportunity to publicly show what the JDAI work was.


(DISCUSSION) Naming opportunity for the new Juvenile Hall facility. 

Comm Hale said that he would like to have a part of the new facility named after Cheyenne Bell, who worked in the Dept and was a leader in the African American community, for youth development. He recounted some of her accomplishments that he felt made her worthy of having something named after her.  Comm Lingad Ricci said she has heard a lot about Cheyenne Bell, and some previous commissioners have also suggested that the Commission name something for Cheyenne Bell.

Comm Queen said that the City Attorney’s office has said the Commission does not have authority to give names to facilities.  He said that it was a former Probation Commissioner, Esperanza Echavarri, who came up with the idea to name something after Cheyenne, some part of the facility not related to detention.

Comm Lingad Ricci suggested Rev Dunbar lead the gathering at the meeting in a moment of remembrance.  Before Rev Dunbar began, she did comment that there already is an effort underway to get the multipurpose room in the new facility to be named the Cheyenne Bell community center. Rev Dunbar held a moment of silence in remembrance and then led a prayer.

Comm Queen recommended that Comm Hale work with Rev Dunbar and Liz Jackson Simpson and come back to the commission with their detailed recommendation. Comm Lingad Ricci asked this item be added to the agenda for the retreat.

(public comments)

Liz Jackson-Simpson echoed Rev Dunbar’s thoughts to name the multi purpose room in Cheyenne’s honor.  Comm Queen asked that the family of C. Bell be involved also.  Liz agreed to this.

Comm Lingad Ricci commented that it might be appropriate to refer this to the Chief for how to proceed. 



(DISCUSSION/ACTION) a discussion of the 2005 Civil Grand Jury Report on the Juvenile Probation Dept.  

Chief Siffermann stated that he was now preparing a response to the report. He will give a draft to the Commission by the second week of June.

Comm Queen asked Comm Rodriguez and Comm Stiglich to chair a committee to draft the Commission’s response.

Comm Rodriguez commended the Chief for what appeared to be already his efforts to address some of the points in the Grand Jury report, by doing many of the things he’s mentioned doing, as well as listing those points he would like to address.

Comm Stiglich commented that the portion of the Grand Jury report that said there was concern that the Commission (members therein) voted on things from which they (or their orgs) derived money.  Whether in reality or not, the appearance of impropriety that was the main thing. The Commission needs to know clearly when such possibility exists, and needs to make sure the community  fully understands.  She suggested this topic be included in the Commission’s retreat.

Comm Fetiçō explained that his non-profit has never solicited nor received funds from any govt. source.

He additionally stated that the issue of workers comp needs to be brought under control.

Chief Siffermann commented that the dept has made progress on that issue and will give a report later on how it is going.

Comm Rodriguez commented that the Grand Jury’s comments regarding the qualifications of the Commissioners, may be outdated, relating some of the backgrounds of the individual current commissioners, which shows their familiarity and commitment to the field of juvenile justice.

Comm Fetiçō commented on another issue raised in the report; regarding personnel evaluations. This needs to be instituted as a constant activity.  Comm Queen said this can be taken up in the retreat.                              

(public comments)
Rich Perino, Pres. Of the DPOA, said he was happy to hear a previous public speaker that spoke positively about a probation officer.  He said the Grand Jury’s report says nothing positive about POs, making it sound like it is their self interest, and fault that keeps detention numbers high. He referred to some other incorrect statements, one regarding  Title 4e reimbursements, and another regarding CARC.  He asked that the Chief and Commission respond to these inaccuracies and set it straight.  He had other comments but did not take time to bring them up. He invited the commissioners to contact him if they wanted those additional points.

Comm Rodriguez asked if his organization was going to submit a formal response. Perino said he knew of no formal means of submitting one, while he personally wrote back to them.

Bruce Fisher, Dir. Of Huckleberry Youth Services, said the staff at CARC would be happy to give whatever statistics the Commission may want regarding the operation of CARC.  He thinks it is important to look at the relationship between CARC and Juvenile Hall.



(DISCUSSION) Committee reports, other reports

·         President’s comments

      Comm Queen commended the Chief on how he has been operating.  He said there are a lot of positive things happening and thinks the Chief is on the right path in going forward.

      Comm Queen also suggested the next commission meeting be in the community and has been speaking to Shawn Richard about using Milton Meyer gym.

·         Retreat planning

      Comm Hale asked commissioners to give a date in June that will work for them.  Comm Fetiçō will not be available the week of the 13th.  Comm Hale will proceed with June 25th, tentatively.

(public comments)
There was none.


Public comment on any matter within the subject matter jurisdiction of the Juvenile Probation Commission

Comm Stiglich asked that the issue of probation officers’ safety be discussed again.  And communications between the Dept staff and community.  Comm Queen asked her to discuss these two items in Program Comm to be brought forward to the full commission.


(ACTION)  Adjournment

there being no further business, it was moved to adjourn the meeting. 

in honor and memory of Cheyenne Bell

                                                             Adjourned at 7:30pm