There are no fiscal implications from accepting this report. There will be minor costs associated with organizing and staffing the proposed working group, along with possible costs related to data gathering and analysis. It is anticipated that all such costs will be absorbed within existing departmental budgets.
REASONS FOR RECOMMENDATION
At the November 5, 2013 meeting of the Board of Supervisors, the Office of the County Executive was requested to provide in January 2014 a “[r]eport relating to a proposed composition for a community working group and development of an 18-month timeline to conduct a comparison of current practices and outcomes with those of other counties that adopted the Trust Act.” Below is Administration’s report outlining the proposed scope, composition, timeline, and work plan for the working group.
Proposed Scope of Work
Based on the Board’s conversation, the evidence-based working group will examine questions such as the following:
· What are the effects of the current County Civil Detainer Policy?
· What are the fiscal costs avoided and costs incurred as a result of the current policy?
· What are other counties doing, and how is the TRUST Act being implemented?
· What are our general bail eligibility and recidivism statistics?
· What are our current practices for dealing with the release of legal residents who commit serious or violent felonies?
· What trends are we seeing regarding domestic violence, capacity of jails, split sentencing, and other relevant factors?
The above list is only an example. It is anticipated that the working group itself will assess and finalize a specific list of research questions for data gathering and analysis and present that list to the Board’s Public Safety and Justice Committee (PSJC) during Phase I.
The working group will hold inclusive meetings, with the aim of incorporating expertise from internal and external groups. The intended composition, which is based on the prior task forces, includes 16 members as follows:
· Chair: Deputy County Executive James R. Williams
· County Counsel or designee
· District Attorney or designee
· Sheriff or designee
· Public Defender or designee
· Chief of Correction or designee
· Chief of Probation or designee
· Director of Pretrial Services or designee
· County Budget Director or designee
· 5 Community Members
· Santa Clara County Police Chiefs Association representative
· Presiding Judge of the Superior Court or designee (invited observer)
The five community members will be solicited from those established community groups that have actively participated in providing comment during the prior review processes related to the Civil Detainer Policy. If more than five groups are interested in actively participating in the working group, we will determine an alternative process to select a subset of interested groups as members.
However, there is no intent to limit community participation, and there will be ample opportunity for public input. A limit of five official member slots was chosen to ensure diverse representation without making the working group too unwieldy in size.
Proposed Timeline and Work Plan
As an initial outline, Administration proposes the following work plan and timeline. However, it is envisioned that the working group itself will flesh-out and adopt the timeline and work plan with any necessary modifications during Phase I, as described below. These timelines will be adjusted based on the ability to gather and process the information needed to answer the specific research questions posed by the working group.
Phase I – Planning and Scope (February 2014-April 2014)
During this phase it is envisioned that the working group will meet several times to: (1) determine the data to be gathered, (2) confirm the timeline and work plan, (3) and determine the particular entities responsible for gathering specific data.
There will be a report to PSJC upon the conclusion of this phase. We are proposing an aggressive timeline, and it is likely that this phase may take additional time to complete. This report will include a final list of data to be gathered for assessment.
Phase II – Data Gathering (May 2014-March 2015)
This phase will focus on data gathering. Since the actual data gathering work will be done by individual departments and community groups, it is envisioned that there will be one or two meetings during this timeframe to ensure that work is progressing on task.
There will be one status report to PSJC during this phase.
Phase III – Data Analysis (April 2015-June 2015)
Upon completion of data gathering, the working group will analyze the data and prepare an informational report to PSJC and the full Board. It is not envisioned that the working group will make any policy recommendations, but rather will identify the findings from the research and data gathering and respond to the specific research questions posed during Phase I.
The final report will be presented to PSJC and the full Board for consideration.
The recommended action will have no/neutral impact on children and youth.
The recommended action will have no/neutral impact on seniors.
The recommended action will have no/neutral sustainability implications.
Detailed background information concerning the County’s Civil Immigration Detainer Policy and the state TRUST Act is provided in the report to the Board of Supervisors for Agenda Item #11 on November 5, 2013, which is attached to this legislative file and is not repeated here.
At the November 5, 2013 meeting—after receiving considerable public input as well as testimony from the District Attorney, Sherriff, and Public Defender—the Board did not change the County’s Civil Detainer Policy. Instead, the Board requested that the Office of the County Executive provide a report in January 2014 “relating to a proposed composition for a community working group and development of an 18-month timeline to conduct a comparison of current practices and outcomes with those of other counties that adopted the Trust Act, and additional reports through PSJC on an ongoing basis during the study period.”
This report outlines the working group that the Office of the County Executive will establish and the timeline that the group will follow in reviewing evidence regarding: (1) the County’s existing policy; (2) other aspects of the County’s criminal justice system, specifically including the granting of bail to those charged with crimes; (3) the practices and effects of policies in other counties adopting the TRUST Act minimum requirements; and (4) the practices and effects of policies in other counties adopting policies more stringent than the TRUST Act.
This report outlines the working group that the Office of the County Executive will establish.