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tv   [untitled]    November 15, 2013 3:00am-3:31am PST

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60s schizophrenia since i was very young. we went through the same heart aches in terms of trying to get her into treatment and having her presented very well and having her discharged and police getting involved simply for being psychotic in a public area and going to court hearings. a very messy issue. the reason why i'm interested in this particular issue is not because i'm interested in controversy or particularly polarizing issues, but because i believe in it. i believe that laura's law outpatient treatment is a tool among many tools that we have in the mental health system to try to engage people in a recovery based way. the foundation of laura's law is a multidisciplinary team trying
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to engage people, trying to give them as much say in the treatment plan as they are willing to provide and when you read the description in nevada county that has it fully implemented. when you meet the people who work they are, they believe in the same things that mr. vega was mentioning, love kindness, i think that's why we all do this work but there are individuals like my mother, maybe like his son who need a little bit of extra help. i think that sometimes oftentimes clients see judges differently than they see their doctors. they are more line listening to judges than their doctors and than can be a very effective push into treatment, and that
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sometimes not pushing them in that way prevents them from getting into treatment in the beginning. what i found is that that is the first step to recovery. once they are in treatment, they continue to receive treatment voluntarily. but sometimes some individuals need a little bit of extra help. that's how i see -- actually one thing that, i think it's also important to distinguish between making diagnosis, i think the diagnosis of schizophrenia or bypass bipolar is very clearly state. the fact that one has an illness or not is not in the criteria. >> we have an audience. >> thank you. [ applause ] >> we have an audience question
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for eduardo vega. for the severely mentally ill, involuntary measures and current use are chaotic and traumatic. we talked about the current system, on the other hand laura's law provides community service with know forced meds. why would you be against it? >> why has laura's law be implemented in one small rural county. i think part of the answer is we do have good community services and support in san francisco and we have the best in the country and funded through the mental health services act. do they solve all the problems?
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absolutely not. do we need more? absolutely. to bring an additional court process that threatens people with enforcement measures and takes away right to self determination is at the core of this. the people that run the program in nevada county. the program that provisions the services, that program is available to people voluntarily. that only 4 people have been treated through the voluntary clause. that service is available to all people. 4 people were involuntary mandated to those services. couple of them succeeded, a couple didn't. the point is that the county where you have a chief of police who meets
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with the judge, who meets with the department of mental health or the head of the department of mental health have breakfast in their local coffee place. that model can work in a small community where you are going to know the clients and know the people that come up. does it work in an urban setting when you have highly complex and structured system or interaction of systems between police, between providers and things like that? we don't think so and that's part of the reason it hasn't been implemented. it's filled with all sorts of legal problems and coordination problems with bringing additional core systems into alignment, using hospitals as enforcement measures and things like that. so there are good treatments and there are good services out there. but we need more of them and we need better than we do
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have. i totally agree with that. >> this is obviously an extremely important discussion and one that i suspect is going to continue not only here in san francisco but throughout the state and nation and really please join me, unfortunately we have run out of time but i want to thank our panelist for laying out this issue as they did. thank you very much. [ applause ] >> >> welcome back to the annual public defenders summit. for many years we talked about the bail reform and ways to release
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people from custody. right now it's the size of your wallet. it doesn't matter what the charges are, you can get out of jail if you can pay. in san francisco, now as we'll discuss this, we have most of the people who are in jail are because of pretrial detention. these are people who have not been charged with a crime, they just don't have the money to post bail t moderate is chief attorney and michael gonzalez and look forward to this panel and their with wisdom. >> thank you, jeff. the reform and commercial bail system is one of the hottest topics. the
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institute of policies has called the bail system a failed policy that leads to excessive incarceration and mostly of pretrial detainees who cannot afford to buy their freedom. time and time again commercial bail has proven itself to most effective with those released on assurity bonds with 60 percent less likely to become fugitives. let me introduce the panel, der a dwight is with the association, she owns carson bail bonds and in the industry for 4 decades and former mistake mayor of carson california and helen for the
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juvenile and criminal justice system and currently on the and ralph on the commission of san francisco and works closely with the sheriff's department which now leads the program for violent offenders. >> san francisco, he has over 3 decades of experience in law enforcement including his former role as chief of police in san francisco. he's been a critic of current models in the criminal justice system that rely too heavily on incarceration. will looeng is the c e eo of diversion project
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from ranging from final alternatives to rehabilitative programs to more comprehensive case management and finally jonathan simon is adrian craig in professor of law, teaches courses on criminal laws, criminal justice, law and consulted culture and law risk and studies. his book includes parole and the social control of the under class 1890-1990 how the war on crime transformed american democracy and created fear. welcome our panelist. [ applause ] >> i'm going to start with catherine mccrack in, the organization on juvenile and criminal justice has done extensive reach on the bail
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system and pretrial detention. is the system currently working would you say and what reforms would you support? >> thank you for having m e here today. the center for criminal justice has released a report last year that did examine the bail industry particularly around the lobbying effort. i want to talk a little bit about the criticisms of the commercial bail industry that has been reoccurring over the years and these date back as far back as to the 1920s that the commercial bail doesn't just a minute, discriminate those who can't afford bail. counties are
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responsible for an increased number of level. we have to better utilize our jail space and those confined to jail are the ones is that need to be there. when they come, they have to release inmates and that's not a systemic way. some counties release first ones in and out. the criticism about the bail industry that it doesn't really address -- well, it affects individuals who are not able to post bail, are not afforded the same due process as other individuals that can affect their experiences through their trials. so, for
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example, individuals who are unable to post jail or are in custody through the hearing trial process, are attending their hearings in their county issued blues, they are also potentially attending hearings in handcuffs and that's the perception they have on these individuals and additionally the folks that are not able to post bail are affected through collateral consequences by being potentially unnecessarily detained if they do not pose a risk to public safety. they are affecting their ability to continue with their employment, education or family responsibilities. so the center on criminal justice would advocate for an increased use
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or implementation of pretrial services at the local level and some on this panel will speak with more detail on that. >> let me ask miss dewint that you are obviously part of the bail association and the president of the organization, you have decades of experience. critics have argued that your association and other associations like it use their influence by way of lobbying to protect the groups financial interest. i'm wondering if you can respond to that and perhaps give us an idea what kind of lobbying your organization does? >> thank you. first of all let me thank jeff and the san francisco public defenders office for this 10th year of the justice submit summit. thank you and i don't have a
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prepared speech. i do want to address some of these misconceptions. there is a bail reform and we are part of the reform. we are proud to say that we are part of our regulatory agency with the department of insurance to reestablish the industry. but alongside of that we are not a one size fits all industry. there is a place for the criminal justice system as well as the criminal bail industry. now we have testified along with catherine, our lobbying effort are basically this is what we look like. this is the lobbyist. we are not a high paid, i represent the mom and pop businesses throughout the state of california and certainly although hopefully our assurity companies employ
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their lobbyist. this is what it looks like. it not the chico's bail bonds. we are mom and pop and the majority of our agencies are owned by women. i'm eye i want to have the opportunity to say what we mean. legislator coming this year is what we are looking at at high cost of bail. yes it has to be locally controlled. we have nothing to do with this. i'm from los angeles county and let me tell you bail schedules are very high out there. but we work with the families, co-workers, and employers that want that person out of jail where they can continue to flourish in their society. the issue of -- well
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the pretrial is there is a misconception about which is fair and which isn't fair. i have to say for the sake of public safety, we offer a little bit of the bjs study that our statistics is true because we incorporate other people with a part of the skim in the game, if you will, the family and members and we do a better job of seeing people return to court. we don't judge, we just return them to court and make their appearances. >> there are a lot of organizations throughout the state that, you know, kind of pull their resources together to be able to engaged in some lobbying, i think it true for some associations and there is some lobbying for the california's association. do you know how much your organization spends on
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lobbying? >> we don't even have a paid lobbyist. but the sure ityty company there is a guess. i have no idea what their figure would be. >> i understand that you are also amen of american bail coalition? >> it's a representative of the assurity companies. those are the big guys that we get our paper to write with. i'm not a member of the american coalition. that's for assurity companies. >> the bailing corporation is that what you are with? >> yes. the california bail association has been around for 32 years. we are colleagues and share mutual goals. >> let me move on to sheriff, in 2010, 70 percent of
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california jail's population were there to hear their cases. the national average was 61 percent. i'm wondering if you are tell us what the percentage is in san francisco jail and i'm wondering if you can tell us about the sheriff's power to control the pretrial population? >> first of all, thank you for public defender jeff in an allowing us to participate in your 10th justice summit and also in recognizing the important anniversary. our statistics in the city of san francisco are higher. 75 percent of our jail population is a pretrial felony population. i think you have to put some numbers in context as
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to who is our inmates in san francisco city county jails. the population demography reflects 60 percent african american inside the county jail system, 21 percent white and 15 percent latino. we have done studies in the past that show that at least a 3rd of our jail population would be eligible for some form of pretrial release through programs that have been designed through pretrial release, they have been very effective. i know will looeng of our shop can report on figures. i can give you ideas of jail dates that have been avoided. the numbers are significant. supervised
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release, we saved 43551 jail days. for 2011, with court atable accountable was 88059 and o.r. is 25,000. county sheriff's have been empowered to be able to use their discretion for early release and to use our discretion to help reroute people into alternatives to incarceration with monitoring release. but in the program we have under crowding. our jail maximum
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population is about 2400. our average for the last 15 months has been under 1600 inmates per day. we are doing a great job as a city and what lines up between the public defender and district attorneys and the number of the parties at the table for san francisco is finding in rhythm on what we can do instead offen incarcerating as a first response but a latter response. i would like to see where this progressive outlook is going. i also this i that 120301 in the penal code allows the supervisors to amend the translation for county sheriff to rewrite that eligiblity for
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early release even fore jail systems that are not over crowded. i think coming out of here is a potential reform as one who tries to second reconcile the bail bonds industry and the equity that exist from people who can not afford jail which are people of color and come from disadvantaged communities and the nationals in the state are affirmed in a city like san francisco. we should not rest on our laurls in san francisco and realize that based on the demography that what exist inside our jail system continues with the management that we do want to consider some alternatives in the penal
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code those opportunities are providing for the county governments and county board of supervisors that empowers our local criminal justice partners to do just that. >> let me ask you, does the sheriff have the power to release an inmate despite the fact that a judge has set bail and they are unable to pay? >> we do. we have that through electronic monitoring or some other supervised facility. it has not been well applied. >> is that the only instance that you are given that power in? electronic monitoring? >> through some kind of work if furlough or alternative situation. >> keep in mind, the county has been fairly light and i think both incarceration and those
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not in incarcerated because of credit time served they are doing a decent job of manage that go population because we didn't send many in the first place. that is giving us a leg up in a sophisticated and complicated population that has been exposed to the system and so that we can accelerate the process of reentry so we have a better exit plan so they hopefully do not return. >> let's say you are dealing with somebody coming into system at their arrangement bail gets set and they are not even ready to post bail. do they have any power to release inmates where a bail has been set by a judge pending their
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trial? >> it depends on the classification of that inmate on a very case by case assessment because no sheriff would want to risk basic liability if something went awry. when they are high enough to give us a leap for that. our confidence level would have to be at a complete optimum to be sure there is not a blow back from our policy. >> let me ask joe sarco on that most of us believe there is an an evaluation that a judge makes in making a determination whether someone whether or not should be released on their own
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rerecog nizance. your lawyers are in court everyday at arraignments arguing for monetary bail or agree that a defendant should be released on their own recog nizance. what factors do you think are most important when district attorneys in a court are making that recommendation to the judge? >> yes. thank you for the opportunity and the public defenders office and jeff, for pro providing this forum. i believe that pretrial release should be based on three things, risk of violence, risk of reoffending or flight risk. i think that we have inject ed for many many years a commercial value to safety that
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i think needs to be reevaluated for the reasons that have been stated. the reality is that the current commercial value to the pretrial release has not only had an impact for minorities. 24 percent of hispanics do not get to bailout. about 35 percent of african americans do not get to bailout whereas white americans are right around 27 percent. but i think the problem we face is that we have not come up with good predictors of risk. and often the dialogue that occurs between a judicial officer and a district attorney and a defense attorney where there is a public defender or private counsel is really a discussion that is based on perhaps the individuals current offense, it
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maybe based on the individual's history of offending. it's really not a scientific way of having a discussion around safety and around flight risk. often many of the people that are given very high dollar bails are people where the bench is looking where all the intents and purpose there is no real bail that is because this person is a real risky person or perceived to be risky and perhaps a better response to this ought to be if we think this person and property is risky, there should be no bail. conversely if there is a way to evaluate that a person is not a danger to society and because of their evaluation of them that they will show up for
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court they will be released on their own recognizance. we have a high level of percentage wise of pretrial detentions as opposed to other counties. part of reason for that is because we have a very high level of alternative resolutions. for other counties for instance are barely using split sentences on the realignment. my option is meeting the state on the use of split sentencing which means a lot of people are out of jail way before they would be in any other community. these are post sentencing people that in another county would be county towards the racial population in the circle they are in the community. there is also a large number of people in place on community base supervision where