Full_Commission2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999
MINUTES OF JULY 27, 2005 MEETING of the JUVENILE PROBATION COMMISSION
held at Instituto Familiar De La Raza 2919 Mission St. San Francisco, CA 94110
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
(ACTION) Roll call and welcome to District 9 Supervisor.
President Queen called the meeting to order at 5:45pm. Comms Chuck, Rodriguez, Fetiçiō were present at the gavel. Comm , Hale arrived at 5:54pm Comm Lingad Ricci was excused. Comm Stiglich was absent.
Estela Garcia, Exec Dir of IFR, welcomed the commission to the community and spoke briefly about the organization.
(ACTION) Review and approval of June 22, 2005 meeting minutes.
The minutes were approved as written.
there were none.
Public comment on any matter within the subject matter jurisdiction of the Juvenile Probation Commission
There were none.
(DISCUSSION) Chief Probation Officer’s report:
Chief Siffermann commended Bill Johnston for his dedication and commitment to the Dept and his assistance during the Chief’s initial assumption of leadership for the Dept. Siffermann then introduced Allen Nance as the new Asst. Chief Probation Officer. Nance comes from Chicago also, and he gave a short introduction of himself, and his hopes and desires for the Dept (in both English and Spanish) and thanked everyone for their support.
Chief Siffermann noted that there were many POs in attendance.
· report on Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative
Garry Bieringer, JDAI Coordinator, said one of the focuses of the initiative this year will be to expedite the release of youth awaiting out of home placement (which accounts for up to 40%of those in Juvenile Hall). They will also be trying to expand community-based alternatives to detention. Another area will be to deal with undocumented youth and language access issues
· report on Dept budget status
Mark Lui gave an oral report, which summarized what the Dept’s request was and how much was given. Of $5 mil requested only $564K was removed. He enumerated a number of positions that were put into the budget, including: 5 POs put back in –not retiring, 3 Supervising POs, 3 new POs, and 2 Sr. Supervising POs.
$2.1 mil of the $5 mil is being used for the Juvenile Hall project debt repayment. $108K was put into reserve for OT, and the Dept is still trying to close out the last fiscal year budget, having a $1.5 mil deficit on the books.
Comm Fetiçiō asked if a final written budget was available for review. Lui said the Controller hasn’t printed it yet. Comm Chuck asked what the City’s deficit situation was now. Lui didn’t have an answer.
· report on Juvenile Hall replacement project
Joanne Chow-Winship gave a short reading of the different construction activities going on: eg. completion of interior sheetrocking. There was an extension of time given to the construction in consideration of number of rain days that delay work. But the work is about 75% complete now. There will be a 2-week timeline for transferring all youth from the old buildings to the new facility once it is completed.
Comm Chuck said he’d like to have a walk through the facility. Winship said it could be scheduled, as long as it was after 3:30pm.
Comm Hale asked for a report on the programmatic plans for the new facility, to be presented at the next meeting.
· report on Juvenile Probation Dept. Public Relations Committee
Chief Siffermann asked to just give a short written report to the commission rather than an oral report.
--------, employee of Dept of Public Health, asked when the changes being worked on by the JDAI would actually take effect. Her recent experience with and treatment by the Dept was not indicative of any qualitative change in attitudes or behavior that hinted of juvenile justice reform for the better.
-------- Martinez, of the Latino Steering Committee, spoke of the need for culturally, linguistically appropriate services.
Heidi Isaacs, PO, was concerned that POs were not given enough notice regarding the Public Relations Committee, so they could participate.
(DISCUSSION/ACTION) Consideration of Program Committee’s recommendations on contracts for services with the following Community based organizations.
Comm Rodriguez reported that the committee had reviewed the Dept’s recommendations, and commented that there were some concerns regarding specific contractors, but in deference to the Dept’s, and the Chief’s desires to maintain a status quo, it recommended approving these as presented.
Comm Hale was troubled by the lack of information from the CBOs, and said that if they couldn’t prove that they are doing a good job, the onus would be on the commission for how the Dept fails, but he also acknowledged the Dept’s recommendations to use this new period to review and revamp for the future. He also repeated his concern that major Dept funds goes to services not for probation youth (citing Huckleberry) and reiterated the need to involve other departments in funding those services.
Comm Rodriguez moved to approve the Dept’s recommendations for contracting with the CBOs listed. It was seconded, and upon voice vote, carried 5-0.
Comm Rodriguez commented that he was encouraged by this and the presence of the community in the meeting. He hoped that this will continue with the next Commission meeting and looked forward to greater communication amongst all the stakeholders in moving the work forward. He apologized for having to excuse himself from the rest of this meeting.
Comm Hale commented about the need for developing programs in the evening hours, from 7-11pm.
Estela Garcia, Exec Dir of IFR, commended the commission for acting on the contracts. She also agreed that accountability was important to maintain.
Bruce Fisher, Huckleberry Programs, acknowledged the concerns of Comm Hale and said he will work with the Dept to try and find those alternative sources of support.
(DISCUSSION/ACTION) Review Commission committees’ functions and protocols, as presented at the retreat meeting, and approve them.
Comm Queen reviewed that at the Commission’s retreat on July 9, this was discussed, and the need for clear protocols was apparent, so that the Commission did its work in the appropriate way, in keeping with adopted rules, regulations and principles. With clear protocols, the Commission’s work could proceed in a timely and consistent manner.
One other important point was the possibility of creating a juvenile justice budget where all funds that were utilized for juvenile justice services could be consolidated under the auspices of one body so that cohesiveness of service/funding could be assured. The suggestion that the Mayor direct this to be done, was one point in the functions and protocols document from the retreat.
He further commented that the Commission and Dept should be participatory in the “public safety cluster,” consisting of various depts. that deal with public safety, and make sure that juvenile justice issues that are impacted by them are not simply left on the doorstep of this dept. This is all a part of the responsibility of the commission, as it is the responsibility of the community to help guide the commission; and with the guidance provided by district based planning, the parts could work as a whole.
Comm Chuck said that it was decided to have a quarterly retreat to review the commission’s work.
Upon motion, seconded, the functions and protocols as outlined in the commission retreat document, were adopted, 4-0.
there were none.
(DISCUSSION/ACTION) Consideration of Program Committee’s recommendation regarding the Mayor’s committee on Log Cabin Ranch School report and findings.
Comm Queen reviewed this topic, saying that there was a draft plan being revised, and that when it was finalized he wanted to make sure that it came before the commission for review, acknowledging that the commission did not have final say over the plan (that was in the Mayor and Bd of Supervisors’ purview), nonetheless, so that the community had a chance to give its input to the commission regarding whatever the report’s findings and recommendations were. Comm Hale had more issues with this, commenting that while authority to operate a ranch lay in the Bd of Supes, the content of the operations: programs, etc. were the responsibility of the CPO and that comes directly under the interests and authority of the commission. He questioned the qualifications of individuals on the Mayor’s committee, who have never run a ranch, to come up with appropriate recommendations. He said that he would not accept the report. Chief Siffermann reported that he has gotten the involvement of Mark Stewart, who developed the Missouri plan, as a consultant to the committee, and will review the committee’s plan.
Mary Radley, a parent, mentioned that parents are not being given a chance to get involved. CBOs do not ask their parents to be involved. She said programs need to be youth and family driven, and they need to be part of the decision making for those programs.
Chief Siffermann offered that in future CBO contracts, there will be conditions that require CBOs to show how they will get and maintain the participation of parents in the delivery and improvement of their services. He will also be developing a process of a parent advisory council to be part of the decision making process for types of contracts that are needed.
(DISCUSSION/ACTION) Presentation by community representatives on issues of community needs, and community-driven, district based planning strategies, with possible recommendations for future actions.
Nora Rios Reddick, Exec Director of Horizons Unlimited, read a prepared statement of what the needs of the community and youth are (text attached).
George Alves, Mission Neighborhood Ctrs, commented that what they do there is not case management, it is relationship management, building a relationship with their clients. He said that all of the staff of the agency used to be clients. They are full aware of and sensitive to the needs of their cases, and seek to advocate for them, and empower them. This mentorship relationship is valuable.
He mentioned that they had just completed a community mapping, and are looking at what resources and gaps in services exist. He also expressed a concern for the high drop out rate for Latinos.
Estela Garcia, Exec Dir of IFR, also echoed the need to have parents, youth involved in planning (and as such, be part of the district based planning process). She noted the problem of youth migration, the need for more family reunification, better case management, involving past delinquent youth in the mentoring of younger youth, the need to bring a multi pronged approach to dealing with the youth’s life; public health, housing, social services, education, etc., and many other points that were not audible on the taped proceedings. She ended with the recommendation that the Commission should take the leadership in making Dept policy that assessments of youth will be done interdepartmentally so that all aspects of the youth’s life are considered in both the problem and the solution.
Carlos Gonzalez, PO, recounted how he began as a juvenile delinquent, but got turned around by RAP. He said there needs to be more youth referred to these community services. He said POs need to work closely with the schools, and be more connected with the community so that they can get “access” and be able to do intervention. There needs to be more outreach/intervention on the front end (many parents have asked for this help).
Lonnie Holmes, JPD staff, said that the level of work asked from the CBOs far outreach the level of funding they receive from the Dept.
Paul Quadra, PO, applauded the commission for having their meeting in the community.
Karen Sadberry, PO, commented that children need to be at home in the evenings, and parents need to have good parenting skills. There are those who need therapy and do not get it. Family reunification is important.
Barbara Ross, PO, agreed with Sadberry, and further said that maybe POs and parents should join the PTAS to get everyone working together on what young people need. There are many kids who are in need of therapy and do not get it, either in counseling from POs/counselors, or psychologists or psychiatrists in the system.
Gabe Calvillo, PO, spoke about the need to be protected when they go out to visit their charges in the community. He said that it’s probably just a matter of time before there will be an incident involving a PO being shot.
Alfredo Bojorquez, IFR, spoke in support of district based planning, but emphasized that it cannot be based on ethnicity within a district, it had to be multi ethnic, representative of the district. He talked about the need for more crisis intervention, like they provide in the critical response network activities, and the need for more cultural and linguistic sensitivity in dealing with non-English speaking youth.
Ray Balberon, community activist, said that it is the community that makes the dept and system accountable. The youth are not being turned around in Juvenile Hall, they are out in the community being changed so the Dept needs to help the community develop its resources to keep serving the youth.
Heidi Isaacs, PO, feels that POs should be out in the community, at the schools. She isn’t able to get out because of all the paperwork she needs to do for the court. This Dept had tried placing POs in the schools, but it was not done democratically, it was dictated, and some POs not wanting to be there, were placed there, so the program failed. She spoke about accountability of CBO programs, that they shouldn’t be referred kids just because they are contracted, if they are not doing a good job.
There are a lot of issues needing to be worked out within the Dept and with the community. She welcomes working with the new chief on this, and hopes he will listen to and take into account the experiences of the POs.
Comm Hale, reiterated his thought that there needs to be a “youth worker academy” where people can be educated on the big picture of juvenile justice vis a vis positive youth development. The theoretical basis of these issues is important to understand for anyone working with youth.
He did not agree with arming POs. He said if POs had respect in the community, they would not need to be armed. He thanked all for coming to this meeting.
Barbara Ross, PO, said that the youth need positive role models of youth who have survived the system and come away from it, influencing younger kids who want to be like them.
(DISCUSSION) Committee reports, other reports
· President’s comments (retreat, etc.)
Comm Queen thanked the chief for asking his staff to come, and the staff for coming. He also thanked the members of the community for coming and speaking their mind. He said it was interesting that what was being said by POs and the community was really the same thing. People from both ends have to wear many hats in working with the youth, but this shows that through this dialog we can reach common ground.
Comm Fetiçō commented that the community also needed to be concerned about the issues and problems that are outside of their own “borders”, to work between communities and increase the dialog.
· Program committee
There was nothing beyond the action taken above on CBO contracts.
· Finance committee
Has not met yet.
There were none.
Public comment on any matter within the subject matter jurisdiction of the Juvenile Probation Commission
There were none.
Comm Hale suggested adjourning the meeting in honor of Concha Saucedo, who was instrumental in establishing Insitituto Familiar de la Raza, and was a long time activist in the community.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:12pm
In Honor of
Statement by Nora Rios Reddick
Horizons Unlimited of San Francisco, Inc.
Juvenile Probation Commission
The health and well being of SF youth and their families is critical for the healthy future of our city and county. The majority of adolescent mortality and morbidity is a result of preventable conditions.
Adolescence is the period of greatest vulnerability. It is imperative that youth have support and opportunity to make healthy choices that will shape their lives.
There are approximately 120,200 youth, ages 10 to 24 that reside in SF, which represents 16% of the total population of SF.
We have over 60,000 children in 160 schools and children of color represent over 50% of the youth in SFUSD.
In SF 14.6% of children, ages 0-17, live below the federal poverty level, 54% of SFUSD children (K-12) are low income and the truancy rate is 50% for African American and Latino youth.
Many of our youth on a daily basis are exposed and engage in risk behavior that threatens their well-being, future and are confronted with conditions that jeopardize their lives. Many of our youth are also faced with poverty, poor academic performance, gang affiliation, developmental delays, and arrests and/or detainment that lead to truancy and dropping out of school.
Additionally many of our youth are faced with the following risk factors:
1. Availability of drugs and firearms and the norms that support their use, low attachment and commitment to traditional institutions, and extreme poverty and transience.
2. Multi-generational involvement in crime, substance abuse and school dropouts; poor parenting practices and/or high levels of family conflict; and parental attitudes and behaviors that condone such activity as delinquent behavior or substance abuse.
3. In the early elementary grades these factors include anti-social and aggressive behavior, failure and lack of attachment to school; and in early adolescence it includes disruptive behavior, truancy, and suspension.
4. Individual and peer risk factors include the withdrawal from conventional social norms; rebelliousness; lack of bonding with anyone positive; association with peers who have similar problem behavior and anti-social attitudes.
According to the Youth Risk Behavior Survey Results (2001) administered by SFUSD/Self Reports (2,200-sample)
1. 14% of the high school youth reported that they had serious thought about ending their lives; 13% had made a plan, 7% attempted suicide one or more times.
2. 58% have tried alcohol, 29% reported current use and 30% have had sex and among the sexually active 27% did not use a condom the last time they had sex.
1. 67% of middle school youth reported being sad or depressed on one or more days within the past 30 days prior to the survey.
2. 20% said that they had seriously thought of ending their lives and 8% had attempted suicide.
3. 15% had not attended school at some time because they felt that they would be unsafe at schools.
The rates of cocaine use by middle and high school students have significantly increased within the past eight years. The overall lifetime reported use of alcohol among high school students is 58% but the numbers are significantly higher for Latino students; which is 78%. The lifetime marijuana use for high school students is 34% and the percentage for Latinos is 54%.
Youth re-entering the community from incarceration settings face the following barriers:
1. relapse into substance abuse and criminal behaviors
2. limited academic skills including literacy
3. lack of effective educational opportunities
4. lack of housing options
5. gang affiliation
6. lack of role models
7. lack of employment opportunities
8. limited access to coordinated community services, including mental health treatment primary care and other services
Violence and Domestic Violence
Two-thirds of partner abuse victims reported that alcohol had been a factor; and for spouse abuse victims, the offender was drinking in three out of four cases
San Francisco has the second highest density of retail liquor outlets of any county in California.
In San Francisco, African American neighborhoods have more than three times as many, and Latino neighborhoods have more than twice as many alcohol billboards per resident, as Caucasian neighborhoods.
What are Best Practices to Engage, Educate and Inspire Our Youth, Families and Communities?
Many approaches to youth crime, drugs and violence are responsive, not proactive. For example, the criminal justice system deals with a problem after a crime has already occurred. The current per annum cost to keep a youth incarcerated is 32K and the educational per capita cost is $5,300. Real intervention and prevention starts early and builds a protective environment to reduce the risks before it happens.
Providing youth with positive alternatives for their futures and an environment in which they can develop into healthy adults requires not only a commitment of programs, resources and community energy to the traditional school day; it requires the same commitment during after school hours, weekends and vacations. We need fluid, consistent and structured support for our youth, their families and communities.
We need to support district based planning and bring together all stakeholders to forge partnerships and work in concert to design, develop and implement culturally competent and linguistically sensitive proactive intervention and prevention services that respond to the growing and changing needs of our youth, their families and our communities.
We need to decentralize city governmental services. Matrixing local city department staff into our communities will build and strengthen partnerships, build networking and referral capability, optimize resources, minimize duplication and strengthen relationships between stakeholders.
o Culturally competent and linguistically sensitive services
o Institutionalization of youth, family and community participation in program design, development, evaluation and implementation
o Implementation of programs that promotes longitudinal relationships to engage, educate, and inspire our youth to navigate their lives.
o Key elements may include the following:
1. offering services that are age appropriate to attract youth to attach themselves to a positive environment where they will have affirming experiences
2. youth councils that promotes their stakeholder, leadership and advocacy role and youth development and leadership opportunities and initiatives that are managed by youth. Set the bar high and they will exceed your expectations
3. peer education (i.e., regarding health education and domestic violence). Research indicates that youth are more receptive to learning from each other
4. gang and violence prevention services (in school and after school services for in school and out of school youth and young adults)
5. culturally affirming services that will promote cultural pride and celebration of our diversity
6. peer mentorship and role model mentorship services
7. job readiness and employment opportunities during the academic year and summer
8. GED, job readiness, internships, employment opportunities and other wraparound services for our out of school youth
9. scholarship opportunities
10. mental health and substance abuse services (therapy and counseling) and case management
11. child care
12. housing options
13. parental involvement and support services for parents
We need to focus on community based culturally competent and linguistically sensitive prevention and intervention programs utilizing a public health model.
We need to strengthen our prevention and intervention programs and we need to ensure that we have after school programs and employment opportunities for our youth.
We need to strengthen programs and services for in school and out of school youth and young adults to attach themselves to culturally competent and linguistically sensitive programs and services that provide positive experiences that supports, promotes, and encourages youth to dream of a future that will realize their potential.
Violence, gangs and drugs are a public health issue. The public health approach to violence, gang and drug prevention begins with the perspective that it is not possible to be healthy in an unhealthy environment and must seek community-based solutions that enrich our communities, our youth and their families.
Providing resources to implement best practices programming requires political will, grassroots support and enlightened leadership.
o DPH/Public Health Division/Adolescent Health Plan o SAMHSA Reports on Youth Violence and Risk Factors for Youth Violence
o SF Latino Behavioral Health Network
o The Trauma Foundation website/articles
o San Francisco, Juvenile Justice Comprehensive Action Plan Report, VI, Description of Program Components in Circle of Care.