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tv   [untitled]    July 30, 2014 5:30am-6:01am PDT

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departments to enact an electronic monitoring program also known as home detention for sentenced inmates and with the advent of ab 109, a new statute in the state rtion known as 1203.018, creates the ability for county sheriffs to create a electronic monitoring program for pretrial detainees and i don't think that it is uncommon knowledge that throughout the state and this country, a high percentage of detainees and those within the jail, county jail systems a high percentage are pretrial. and we believe that if we in the sheriff's department comes into contact with information for a unit that has served minimally 30 days with us or a felony, or someone in a felony that served 60 days with us
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that provides us the knowledge to potentially reconsider if they should be in custody with us. because they could not afford bail, or because of other circumstances that would not necessarily prohibit them from being electronic monitoring. all of this legislation does, is requires us to inform the district attorney's office, so that together, we go before the judge, and that that new evidence or information be presented for the judge. and since a high percentage of people, that are pretrial, in our jail system, are there for a variety of reasons, but in the particular one, because of how cost prohibitive, bail is. and then we believe that of using a very method cal approach as we use the assessments in our incusdy and
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post custody programming and that gives us enough to alert all members, in particular the da as indicated that we would do in the first iteration and then to go before the judge and let the judge decide and that is because someone spends time with us and both are the sworn staff and the program mat i can staff and works closely with those people that are under our supervisor vision, there may be knowledge that may not have come to the floor previously that we may want to see returned and brought to the attention of the courts and the judges themselves, keeping public safety. keeping it without compromise of why we are advocating this legislation and while providing a system that is built on a level of fairness. and so that we are not
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inaccurately encars rating somebody, simply because they cannot afford the alternative of not being incarcerated because of our very strong pretrial deversion programs that exist, and our very strong and robust electronic monitoring program that exists, we feel the confidence through our law enforcement infrastructure and our deputy sheriffs and our program supervisors, that that only reinforces our commitment of enhancing public safety, and a compassionate alternative that allows us to fortified the alternatives to the incarceration without compromise to the public safety. and in 2013, we had one of our largest electronic monitoring years in the history of the sheriff's department and 359 people were put on em with a success completing rate of 93 percent and i can tell you when, we contrast and compare with the other 57 counties in
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the state of california, we have something to be proud of. and so, as long as we keep that line of communication, open, and with the courts with the da, and somebody requires a public defense, public defense in the adult probation department and i think that this is the next step of where the home detention and electronic monitoring will go and maybe there will be people here that may have concerns, or i would like to reserve the right to address those concerns but i just want to also again, mind you the adult probation and public defenders offices here in support and the other people here too. >> if i may, chair, i know that you know, this item came before it is previously and at that point, there were concerns that were raised that were really appreciated the fact that you were willing to hold off, on the item at that point to work with the folks that raised those concerns. i have to say that for me, this is a very important item,
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because we have, and i have actually chaired meetings and certainly a hearing to talk about whether or not there is a need for a new jail and either i am still trying to figure out where i am on that, but one of the things that was very clear in that discussion, is that without in any way compromising public safety, we want your office to continue to explore alternatives to incarceration, and i think that this is consist he want with that and in line with that objective. and so, i am very appreciative of that, and i think that it shows that your department is listening and continues to work of mike hennessee and supervisor mar you have a question? >> i wanted to thank the sheriff for working with the district attorney for the
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different concerns that they had raised before and i also wanted to say that i am appreciative that you are emphasizing that this is about minimum security and low level, inmates. and it is equitable because it is many people that cannot afford the bail and so it is really helping many inmates that probably if they had the funds could be released on bail, but could you talk more about you mentioned that this is no risk at all to the public safety at all? >> well, i will never make a promise that it is not, no-risk, and i think that that would be presumption so i would never say that but what i feel confident in is the infrastructure that has been created by the san francisco sheriff's department to fortify that safety, and it minimizing the risk. and we are thankfully, our department is well seasoned and well tested. and of our administrators here,
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and our sworn that over seing, this particular unit, and we are proud, of the statistics that have demonstrated our success and efficacy and so again, we were walking that fine line, that while there may be a debate, whether to replace the downtown jail or not, and then let's diagnostickly, and scientifically, add evidence to the debate, on what we are able to do to seek effective alternatives to incarceration, not what rhetoric drives the discussion. and if, in fact, the people from the disadvantaged and under served communities, often find themselves in incarcerated because they cannot afford bail and this takes a pro-active approach in entering that question and to your question, supervisor mar about any i think, any concern about somebody being at risk, we
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would assure that concern and if the district attorney or the adult probation department, or the member of public that they are concerned, because this person that maybe put forth as a candidate for reconsideration for the electronic monitoring, we are not going to make that judgment, unlaterally and we never would do that and the whole point of this legislation, is designed a communication vehicle, that allows us to report to the da, so that have together, we go in front of the courts, and the courts and the judge, should be the determinant and not us. >> supervisor yee? >> they chose to discontinue it
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and what is the difference here in what you are suggesting here in san francisco verses la's program? and why would we be successful verses not being successful? that is such a softball question and i get to boast about how great our department is and how well things are working in san francisco at the expense of los angeles but i will not go there and we are two book ends in the state, and by fact, los angeles is the largest county jail system in the country, and then we are, in the north side of the state, one of the most under crowded jail systems in the country, we really are apples and oranges and i think that because of the
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good work we are focusing on reducing recidivism and alternative to incarceration and we see a kind of chemistry that i think that is really unique to san francisco's criminal justice system and i don't think that los angeles has that. >> on what will happen if when we are in this program and they actually violate, you know, in terms of the hdem. >> okay. >> they would offense, and they would, if they are arrested and they are a repeat offender, then they would certainly suffer the consequences.
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and as i am sure that the da will prosecute and that will push for that prosecution, if in fact if they violate the offense and that is why the police officers are empowered like a police officer to make those arrest and our people work around the clock and making sure that there is compliance. and which is why we have such a strong compliance rates in 2013. and we will keep you posted on 2014 as the year progresses and concludes. >> so basically, it is individually not in compliance they go back into the jail. >> yeah. >> and you would get, you would get, i am sure even with the public defender, i think, con con census that we don't want to see any upset to a program that puts us all on the limb so that we do not disturb the confidence by the public in public safety. >> okay. >> thank you.
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>> supervisor mar, do you like to have a follow up? >> yeah, i wanted to thank the chief deputy for giving us so much information about this and could you just explain a little bit and i know that it came up before and so is it an ankle bracelet that is the monitoring system and then what happens if you leave the geographical area, that you are supposed to be confined to. >> you blow up. no. >> and it is, and it is the opinions of on the jails and things like that, but for us, we use something that is not so, barbaric and something that is much more modernized that alert us electronically and to be able to determine where somebody is, like a gps.
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well, no. that is the circumstances of the case and based on the case from the courts and what was adjudicated and if i were on the electronic monitoring it will be on my ankle and would it be on the outside of my pants or would it be under, could you cover it up so that... >> you have someone here that is on em. was. >> okay. >> and we are going to style for you. but, it is and you can put it under neating and i think that most do, some of them do it outside >> and then you had mentioned in, and since realignment in 2011, and in 2013, we had about
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359. >> we did. >> electronic monitoring if we pass this policy, do you have any estimates of how many more people will have this alternative? ? >> i am investing in the strengthening of our em unit. and more. >> very good. thank you. >> yeah. >> thank you. >> i know that i want to hear from the other city agencies. but, before we go on to our da. i would like to give our public defepder and our adult probation department an opportunities to say something. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> good morning, supervisors, i am susan sange here on behalf of jeff, and he wanted to be here this morning but he is actually on vacation. so, i am here to express the public defender's support for the legislation proposed by the sheriff. and for some of the reasons that the sheriff just raised, including the fact that san
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francisco has a pretrial incarceration rate that is higher than the national average and you have a grossly inproportion ate rate, and african americans, and it is important that we create safe alternatives to safe incarceration for the people who are charged with low level offenses who are waiting to exercise the constitutional rights, the individuals that are supposed to be presumed innocent don't langish in jail because they cannot afford the bail. to allow them to be on the electronic monitoring and that they can provide for their families and not be in danger of losing their housing or their jobs. and more importantly, this
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allows san francisco to reenvest the savings from incarceration costs into other evidence-based interventions such as substance abuse and mental health treatment and educational and vocational training and housing. and which research has shown to be effective in reducing recidivism which in turn increases public safety and so we urge, the committee to adopt this and to pass on this legislation to the full board as proposed, and rather than limit eligibility, and preinclude the individuals, from being part of this program, our recommendation, and we urge you to adopt this as proposed, with an aim actually of expanding it in the future. >> why don't we hear from the
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adult probation. >> good morning good members and i am the deputy chief of the adult probation department and i am appearing on behalf of the chief probation officer. the chief asked me to express her full support for the ordinance amending the code to expand the category of jail inmates eligible for home detention program. and authorized the sheriff to implement an electronic monitoring program to pretrial detainees being held in lieu of bail, as a public safety agency, adult probation, certainly recognizes the utility of electronic monitoring, as an effective tool for both jail deversion and supervision enhancement and this can lead to more effective reentry into the community and ultimately better out comes for our clients under supervision. and chief still plans to come before this board in the near
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future to address additional issues related to electronic monitoring but specific to the adult claim population that we supervise. again, the adult probation department fully supports this ordinance, as currently proposed by the sheriff's department. thank you. >> thank you very much. >> and i mean, i have a great deal of respect for the chief and i think that she has been amazing in sort of being a neutral arbitro, in the criminal justice system here in san francisco. and the one question that i want to make sure that i get, you know, your department's perspective on is this issue, of
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it and you feel comfortable with that. >> we are in the business of risk assessment and risk management. and whether you work for the sheriff's department, or with the probation department. what we find is that the majority of the clients are high risk and what we are also able to find is if we are able to match services with this individual, and with the right probation officer, and if we are able to have success in our community, which we think enhances our public safety. and it is my understanding that there are safety guards put into place for this particular program, and in which, will be taken into consideration before that, and ultimately, if opposed by the da will go in front of the superior court judge. >> and i think that is a very important note, because i think
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that to the extent that there are those concerns i am very appreciative of the fact that the case will be presented to a judge who can ultimately decide what the right course of action is. any colleagues any questions for the adult probation department? >> no. >> great. >> now i want to give our district attorney the opportunity to present on this item and i think that we have a i don't know if it is a school, or a summer program that is here. kids welcome to the board of supervisors chamber. >> thank you. >> and we are joined by the district chief of staff. >> good morning, supervisors. >> kristine, and we are here for the district attorney gascon and i appreciate this committee rehearing this item. we have been in back and forth dialogue with the sheriff's department about the concerns that we reiterated at the first version of this legislation and some of those have been
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incorporated. we have an outstanding concern that has not been incorporated and i think that it leads us back to the original concern with the legislation and you heard that the adult probation mention that we are all engaged in a risk assessment management evaluation process in our roles, and what is missing from the process here, on determining who should be on the electronic monitoring in the hands of the sheriff's department is that, some type of a tool that will inform that process. for those of you that don't, regularly participate in the criminal court proceedings or have similarity with them, it is made at arraignment whether someone should be held in custody or released on bail or released on their own, and that is a hearing that takes place with a defense attorney, representing the individual, the district attorney, representing the community, as well as the victim's concerns, and a judge, that makes a determination, based on all of of the information in front of us about the crime at hand, and the individual criminal history, and any information our office may have from a victim in concerns that they
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may have about their safety. and a determination is made but if that individual is safe enough to be released and when we set the bail we set it for a lot of reasons, right? we put a million dollars bail on someone accused of murder for a reason because we hope that they will not be able to achieve that and stay in custody and the public will be safe during the interim and so i would be interested to see the statistics of the people that are in because of the risk to the public safety as determined by the judge and in because they can't achieve the bail, i don't have those numbers but perhaps the sheriff's department does and that is part of an evaluation that we want to conduct. 80 percent of the population are there on felony matters and so it is the people that have some serious matters pending, the court has gone through a court proceeding with everybody represented and made a determination that bail is appropriate in those cases. and it has been set. and then to come back in 30 or 60 days with i am not sure what the new information will be to make a new evaluation is less than obvious to our office what
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that reasoning to be. this will be that the county is going to undertake should be informed by the risk assessment tool and a process that we can invest in and depend on to tell the community that it is being done in a way that protects the public safety and the concern that we have that was not addressed in the legislation, pardon me. and deals with the individual that they are reviewing and so it indicates that these will be low level offenses but does not indicate that they will be low level offenders and someone could be before the court on a low level offense and have a serious criminal history and that is not contemplated by the legislation and so we will ask the sheriff's office to include that in this version and did not make it into that version and that remains our outstanding concern beyond the larger framework that we are discussing here. >> i guess, you know, i appreciate that miss bary, i am sort of at a loss to understand what actually is happening
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here, because i am hearing two different things, i mean that i am hearing from the other criminal justice, and things, including not just the sheriff's office, but adult probation to assess the risks for the offenders is already embedded in this process. and i have no doubt that if our chief of adult probation felt that there was anything missing, insuring that that assessment will be made that she will be the first to advocate for that. and so it just seems like we are hearing two different things and so, my understanding is that there are questions, about whether or not a particular offense in a particular offender is appropriate for this program, that is a matter goes to court is that not the case? >> so, let me address both of those things, i don't think that the adult probation says
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that they are aware of the assessment that the sheriff's department is going to go through and that they will sign-off on that and those are the questions you would like to ask them. we have not been shown what that process will look like. and i don't know if this committee has perhaps, you have had an opportunity to review, the process. or the tool that the sheriff's department is going to use to make this determination, but i have not been shown that. to your second question, yes, we requested that there be a hearing placed into this legislation, because we have so many concerns about the fact that there was not a risk assessment tool and that these decisions will be made outside of the court without contemplating the victim's concerns and public safety that we felt that the only thing that we could do was try to interject ourselves in part of that process to be able to raise a flag where we had concerns and that is a policy safe guard and i think that this could be done better, is my point. >> so your ability to go to court is sufficient for you to raise any concerns that you may
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have? >> it is creating an additional hearing and without the additional resource and we will do that because we are concerned about the public safety but it is kind of a redundant process that we are going through and we will have already done this process at the arraignment and already had a bail evaluation and in 30 or 60 days, or whatever point the sheriff evaluations this person and decides that something has changed or feel that they are appropriate and be able to go through another hearing. >> i would personally have more than less and even if it turns out that an individual case becomes redundant, i would rather err on the side of caution and has the district attorney met with the sheriff to discuss its concerns as he has to meet with him?
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i would encourage you to meet with the sheriff, because if you have a concern of something of this magnitude that that should happen. and at the highest level, and we have been on the police commission and i think that it is important for the staff to communicate. the other question that i want, and i want to hear from the sheriff's department and from the adult probation so that they can respond to the questions that you raised. i share what they have raised and adult probation has raised with the respect of do we need a new jail, i have yet to make a decision on that.
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but in having that discussion, those of us who have raised those concerns, with prompted and said, that we need to explore alternatives to incarceration. i will imagine that those have raised the concerns for the need for a new jail will be welcoming this kind of exploration and isn't that a good thing in consistent with the criticism that the da has made, with when it comes to the need of it or for a new jail? i mean that it is like, and it is like, i feel like it is hard to have it both ways, right? you can't say, you don't need a new jail, and yet, criticize when there is an exploration of the alternatives to incarceration, i mean, it just inconsistent to me. >> i would be happy too. >> our currently our jail is half empty and that is making sure that we are only incars rating those where that is the only alternative and our
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office, precisely to deal with the pretrial population is engaged in a rigorous process to develop our own risk assessment tools so that we can make more informed decisions at the bail hearing before the court, about whether somebody should or should not be held in custody in the pretrial and that is the way of making risk assessments in a very high stakes game that we are engaged in and we are making important decisions every day about who will or will not be dangerous if we release them and those are hard decisions to make and it is not always immediately obvious based on what you are seeing in a snapshot. and so, the concern is that it be done scientifically and data and the decisions that we are making are informed by something not that we make the decisions one day to the next without that kind of scientific tool in guiding our process, the adult probation department has such a tool and they have the compass tool that is
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validated to guide the decisions about what type of supervision someone should get and who should get electronic monitors and who should be in the programs and you go through the evaluation of the individual and the needs. >> simply the sheriff's department could develop a risk assessment tool or adopt one in existence and we are under going that process of under going our own and we have an obligation for dealing with the pretrial population. >> and, it is not be a... your office allows for the monitoring and