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Meeting Information


2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 




held at American Justice Institute 870 Market St. # 485 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 by Comm. Aramburo at 10:20 am. Comm. Dupre was present. DCPO Tucker, L. Jackson-Simpson, L. Holmes, S. Arcelona, S. Clayborn were present for the Dept. Dr. Bennett, Dr. Oberweis, and two AJI staff were also present.
2. (ACTION) Possible recommendation, to full Commission, for continuation of contract from July 1, 2001 to June 30, 2002 with the American Justice Institute for the PRIDE system, in the amount of $375,000.
T. Oberweis introduced Dewi Wijaya and Helen Sun, who did an overview of the database architecture (using MS ACCESS).
          Comm. Dupré asked to review the purpose of the meeting. Commissioner Aramburo advised that it was to determine the current timeline of the PrIDE project, what is being developed, and will it be a useful model for the Dept. to utilize in light of the projected expense. Comm. Dupré asked for a response to the question raised by Comm. Arámburo, to wit, is this a wise use of TANF funds. T. Oberweis stated that PrIDE can be seen as an asset to the other TANF programs. This program differs from other evaluation programs in that it can inspect current clients in the system to assess the changes occurring to them while they are being served. This can help providers to improve their services in a real time basis and not post discharge, after the fact. Thus, PrIDE is a program refinement development tool. The information developed through this system can help substantiate the need for continued TANF funds. Comm. Dupré asked about the difficulty in getting data from CBOs. Many things have occurred to get through this problem, including reducing the size of the forms/numbers of items to be filled out, further training of data collectors, requiring compliance as a part of the contract agreement. Comm. Arámburo felt that the information being requested is information that POs would utilize regarding adjudicated wards with intensive home supervision and/or placement, and not all TANF CBOs. She advised that the Philadelphia program took close to $4 million and has an annual maintenance cost of approximately $850,000 per year with 45% as indirect costs. This would be a very expensive program for our Dept. Philadelphia monitors long-term residential or day treatment contracts and our contracts are much shorter in duration within CBO case management. Comm. Aramburo believed that the original purpose of PrIDE was to obtain information about placement services, which wards did well in what programs, and whether or not our services were reducing recidivism, as some of our outcome measures.
          G. Tucker said that the intent was to get information and build capacity. What the Dept realized was that the CBOs being contracted did not have the capacity to deliver services. Or there was no way to evaluate level of services being provided.
Comm. Arámburo asked if that was the role of the Community Programs Division staff, to assure that recommended providers could deliver those services and were providing the services, once contracted.
          Dr. Bennett said that monitoring was to make sure the providers were using the money the way they were supposed to, and not using it for other ends. But that this is not the same as evaluating the programs’ effectiveness.
          Comm. Arámburo believes that with the CBO evaluation forms currently in use now, there is a general sense about the services in specific CBOs. Comm. Aramburo noted that according to the ProDes reports, after 7 years in Philadelphia and $4 million spent, recidivism has not declined and there is a trend towards greater institutionalization, not a goal supported in San Francisco. So, how valuable a tool is that, if it doesn’t go in the direction SF wants to go.
          Dr Bennett said that AJI is not in the business of saving youth. It helps programs understand what they’re dealing with so that they can develop better programs. Some of those programs will fail. But with this system, we can know how they failed and help the next level of people to do a better job.
          Comm. Arámburo stated that there is data from the JJIS, from the Dept of Justice, and from Foundations that we can utilize to assess trend analysis.
Comm. Aramburo asked what do we do when TANF funds run out next year and our contracts with TANF providers may not exist. Then what? Restructure the model?
          S. Arcelona: this model started looking at both general funds and TANF programs. It is also looking at recidivism and the Ranch, private placement and all probation services. The good thing about using TANF funds is that there was non earmarked funds that could be invested into this system. Without it, this could never have been done.
          Comm. Arámburo noted that the turnover in CBO staff will create constant demands for training of intake workers. How reliable will the data be?
          G. Tucker said that ProDes has been a capacity builder in Philadelphia.
          S. Clayborn said that Philadelphia does not have a juvenile probation dept. so it has no data in its probation dept. We (the Dept) had that but not an evaluation part. So we want to take all the information from 26 yrs of collecting it on the JJIS, and interweave it with the PrIDE system to be able to generate reports. She further compared how Philadelphia and SF differs in private placement. The JJIS has several modules of information, but it takes time to put the pieces together. (and if the Dept could ever provide all POs with computers, this would be good information for them too).
          Dr. Bennett cautioned against just using common sense to assess scientific evidence; sometimes they are at odds.
          Comm. Dupré summarized that it appears to be a concern on Comm. Arámburo’s part that the amount of funds being used to try to do this is large. And it appears that the Administration (the Dept) sees an opportunity by using TANF funds to get the proper tools to be perhaps light years ahead of other counties, and to get this Dept on target in working with the CBOs. He asked the Dept to provide him with the culturally relevant data that they pulled. He also wanted to know how they planned to work with the CBOs once they have all this information/data. He gave the example of how the Program Committee had used information before to assist CBOs rather than as a knife to cut them out.
Comm. Arámburo pointed out that this was done with a common sense approach directed by the Program Committee and not from any trend analysis, because we knew what that particular CBO’s strength was, based on probation officer input and our own knowledge of the organization. Comm. Aramburo asked what an outside analyst would know about San Francisco youth and programs.
Comm. Aramburo asked if there were any reports on the 400 cases that have been inputted. Answer: No.
Comm. Aramburo asked were there any reports to the CBOs with information about how they’re doing and how they can improve. Answer: there is not enough intake and discharge information available at this time to do that.
          S. Arcelona said that there is a preliminary analysis of the data, but it needs to be "cleaned up" to make sure the data is accurate. She said that they wanted input from the Commission on how they might want to see the data pool extracted (using what indicators/criteria).
          T. Oberweis said that all data abstracted will be taken back to the CBOs to allow them to see the analysis of the PrIDE program and compare it to their own perspective of what the data says, to reconcile any grossly divergent views, and to seek a more concrete, accurate conclusion.
          Comm. Arámburo again questioned whether the way this project is being advanced, doesn’t discount the value of the experience of POs and CBO staff, who work directly with young people and know from the relationships being built what is better for the youth, in favor of a removed, impersonal means of understanding data. And is the cost of this program worth that.
          Comm. Dupré moved to approve the contract with the proviso that the PrIDE staff give bimonthly reports to the Program Committee. There was no second. Motion failed.
          Comm. Arámburo asked for a line item reconciliation of how the funds, $654,000, have been spent to date before she could vote on the matter, this resolution, at a future meeting.
          Comm. Dupré asked what the impact would be on such a delay. Dr. Bennett said that the AJI is keeping the project staff going, using a contingency fund it has, but could only continue this for about another month. If it went beyond that, then they would have to reconstruct their staff (possibly new and not current) thus losing the experience of those already developing the program.
          Comm. Arámburo commented that she wants to investigate whether it would be possible to obtain the information less expensively.
          G. Tucker said that once an approval from the Commission is gotten, it would take about 6 wks before any payments could be made. She asked for more detail about what exactly Commissioner Aramburo wanted regarding the breakout. Comm. Aramburo replied that she wanted a line item reconcilation to determine how the money has been spent to date: how much is spent on consultants, travel, etc. so we could figure out if there is another way of dealing with this, that is less expensive. Comm. Aramburo is also concerned about the annual maintenance fee of approximately $854,000 that Philadelphia is spending.
          Comm. Arámburo asked that the Program Committee meet again next Tuesday at 5:00 pm. to review that information.
          G. Tucker commented that possibly we could look at what can be done with those currently doing the project, with a revision in direction/purpose to better meet the needs of the Dept.
3. (DISCUSSION) Public Comment on any matter within the subject matter jurisdiction of the Juvenile Probation Commission.
There was none.
4. (ACTION) Adjournment
          There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 11:52 am.