Document Sample
122908Newsletter Powered By Docstoc
					VOLUME 1          ISSUE 9                                                  CRIMINAL JUSTICE COMMISSION

Research & Planning
December 29, 2008

Inside This Issue                    2008 Year in Review
1       Message from Research &
                                     As we look forward to the new calendar year, we wanted to reflect on our
        Planning Manager
                                     2008 achievements. Research staff continued to support the work of the
3       Public Corruption            Criminal Justice Commission and its numerous Task Forces and Committees
                                     focusing on law enforcement, courts, corrections, mental health and
3       Law Enforcement
                                     substance abuse, and misdemeanor probation services.
3       Court System
                                     The Law Enforcement Planning Council brings together 46 criminal justice
4       Corrections                  and law enforcement agencies Countywide each month. These meetings
                                     are vital to coordinating law enforcement activities and sharing
5       Research Ideas & Questions
                                     information. The Council also supports the work of the Youth Violence
                                     Prevention Project. Some of the substantive issues addressed by the
                                     Council include the funding of traffic hearing officers, the collection of
                                     forensic evidence for victims of sexual assault, and the sustainability of the
                                     Juvenile Assessment Center.

                                     The Court System Task Force is responsible for monitoring the activities of
                                     the court system and to facilitate constructive discussion and
                                     recommendations related to an effective court in Palm Beach County.
                                     This year, the Task Force examined mechanisms to help some individuals
                                     obtain a valid driver’s license after receiving a court ordered misdemeanor
      Authority: To review,
                                     suspension. It also made a recommendation that county court judges be
    research and evaluate            informed that they may act as circuit court judges when considering
      existing systems and           pretrial release in “up-filed” cases. The Task Force worked with the Palm
      programs within the            Beach Sheriff’s Office to ensure that accused persons who have received
     scope of the criminal           a rescission order of no contact are removed from Central Records.
       justice commission
                                     The Corrections Task Force (Public Safety Coordinating Council) monitors
                                     the population in the county jail. The Corrections Task Force is primarily
                                     concerned with developing recommendations that alleviates potential
                                     “over-crowding” in county jail facilities. To this end, the Task Force has
                                     been busy addressing alternatives to incarceration; and it is expected that
                                     this work will continue into 2009. This year the Task Force addressed the
                                     issue of bail for offenders to streamline the admission and release of
                                     inmates in cases where the charge(s) is either “down-filed” or “up-filed.”
                                     The Task Force helped facilitate a resolution concerning the pick-up and
PAGE 2                                                                               RESEARCH & PLANNING

                             transport of patients previously released from psychiatric facilities.
                             Using the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office booking data; research staff
                             created an extensive research database to help the Task Force
   Criminal Justice
                             understand the jail population and how inmates are processed. This
 Commission Mandate:
                             resulted in a substantial cost saving to the Criminal Justice Commission,
 a) to provide overall       since the work was completed by research staff, rather than an
  coordination to law        outside consultant.
enforcement and crime
                             The Criminal Justice, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Planning
prevention efforts in the
                             Council was established in September 2007 by the Board of County
                             Commissioners. The Council was created to complete a strategic plan
     b) to provide an        to more effectively deal with offenders with mental health and
 efficient, cost effective   substance abuse disorders. The State government is also concerned
   and timely criminal       with offenders entering state facilities via the criminal justice system
  justice system in the      and is looking to local governments and agencies to develop
       county; and           alternatives. This work is supported by a $100,000 grant administered
                             by the Department of Children and Families and in-kind resources from
     c) to effect the
                             the County. This work continued throughout 2008 and is expected to
  reduction of crime in
                             finish in mid 2009. However, it is uncertain if the State will provide grant
    the county on a          funding for the implementation of programs or policies recommended
    permanent basis.         in the strategic plan.

                             Research staff completed a two year review of misdemeanor
                             probation services in Palm Beach County for the Probation Advisory
                             Board. The purpose of the Probation Advisory Board is to monitor the
                             delivery of misdemeanor probation services in the County. The report
                             was approved by the Probation Advisory Board and Criminal Justice
                             Commission in the fall of 2008. The Board of County Commissioners
                             also approved the renewal of the Services Contract with Pride
                             Integrated Services for another three years as recommended by the
                             Criminal Justice Commission and staff.

                             Lastly, we have recently posted all upcoming meetings for the various
                             committees and task forces that we support. Please visit
                             http://www.pbcgov.com/criminaljustice/ for locations, dates, and
                             times. The Research and Planning Staff wish everyone a safe and
                             prosperous New Year.

                             Damir Kukec
                             Research and Planning Manager
                             Criminal Justice Commission
RESEARCH & PLANNING                                                                                         PAGE 3

   Report to Congress: Public Corruption
   Research Staff: Wayne English (561) 355-2326

   A nationwide report recently released by the Public Integrity Section,
   Department of Justice regarding public corruption places Florida in the
   forefront. In 2007 there were a total of 1141 federal prosecutions of public
   officials with 1014 convictions of corrupt conduct across the country. 487
   cases are awaiting trial.

   Florida led the country in the decade from 1998 to 2007 with the number of
   convictions surpassing states such as New York, Texas and California. In
   Florida there have been a total of 824 convictions. 565 of these convictions
   were in the Southern District.

   Florida’s Southern District number of convictions has ranged from 106 in
   1999 to 22 in 2007. The Northern District ranges from 2 in 2004 to 19 in 2007
                                                                                   “Errors using inadequate data are
   with the Middle District ranging from 8 in 2001 to 39 in 2006.
                                                                                   much less than those using no data at
   These statistics reflect only federal prosecutions and not those brought by     all.”
   state prosecutors. The full text of this report can be viewed at
   http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/pin/docs/arpt-2007.pdf                            Charles Babbage

   Law Enforcement Planning Council
   (December 4, 2008): Chair Chief Jay Pickens
   Research Staff: Wayne English (561) 355-2326

   The Law Enforcement Planning Council met on December 4, 2008 with 60
   people in attendance. Mary Barnes gave an overview of the Silver Alert
   and Project Lifesaver program. A motion was made and passed to support
   the program. Mr. Krischer gave a retrospective of the Criminal Justice
   System over the last 16 years. Mr. Krischer discussed issues with search
   warrant protocols. A work group was formed to address these issues. A
   work group was formed to find ways to better fund DNA testing and to
   address issues regarding fees for other law enforcement services. Steven
   Randerson from TSA gave an overview of the procedures for flying armed.

   Court System Task Force
   (December 9, 2008): Chair Jack Goldberger
   Research Staff: Journey Beard (561) 355-1881

   The Task Force met and discussed multiple issues: No Contact Orders –
   pursuant to Administrative Order (AO) 4.307 (Rescission of No Contact
   Order), the Clerk of Courts is required to provide immediate electronic and
   hard copy notification of a Rescission Order to the PBSO Central Records
PAGE 4                                                  RESEARCH & PLANNING

         Office. Ms. Spangenberg, Court Administration, reported that she has
         a109-page report representing a backlog of 3,300 defendants having
         Rescission Orders previously entered in their respective cases. Court
         Administration and PBSO have been diligently working to provide BANNER
         access, training, and updating regarding the PBSO records system. Damir
         Kukec, CJC Research and Planning Manager, has created a report
         matching PBSO booking numbers and Court Administration’s BANNER
         report in an attempt to further expedite the updating of PBSO records; 2)
         Bond Jurisdiction - Pursuant to AO 11.110- 09/08* (Appointment of
         Circuit Court Judges Acting as County Court Judges / County Court
         Judges Acting as Circuit Court Judges) had been signed by Chief Judge
         Kroll, and conferred authority to County Court judges to act as a Circuit
         Court judge in order “..to hear, conduct, try and determine circuit court
         cases that are brought before the judge as a temporary judge ..” Driver’s
         License Assistance Program - Charlie Trotta, Justice Services, described
         the PBC Driver’s License Assistance Program (DLAP) that was previously
         implemented at Traffic Court Arraignment hearings from 1996 – 2000.
         Drug Court - Nicole Saunders, Justice Services Director, reported that an
         advisory committee for the Drug Court is being formed, and the first
         meeting will be held Monday, January 26th, 2009. Primary focus of this
         subcommittee of the CSTF is funding and operational issues of the Drug
         Court. There are currently 204 participants in Drug Court. Member
         Comments - Clay Walker, Manalapan Police Department, reported that
         he has been serving on a Statewide Task Force addressing issues of legal
         system accessibility for deaf, blind, and hard-of-hearing people in
         accordance with ADA guidelines. The Task Force had applied for a grant
         designed to develop a training tool consisting of a video and a workbook
         that could be distributed statewide to system providers. He will be seeking
         assistance from the Northwood Youth Empowerment Center’s audio-visual

         Corrections Task Force
         (December 3, 2008): Chair Doug Duncan
         Research Staff: Jenise Gibson (561) 355-1503 (Summary prepared by Candee

         The Alternatives to Incarceration Advisory Board met on December 3,
         2008 in place of the Corrections Task Force/Public Safety Coordinating
         Council and discussed the process of defining the target population for a
         day reporting center and the best approach as to how to implement this
         program. First, the board discussed which group of individuals to include
         in the program, pretrial or sentenced, or both, and to inform the
         discussions, Damir Kukec, Research and Planning Manager, gave a
         presentation on the characteristics of jail inmates based on admissions
RESEARCH & PLANNING                                                                                      PAGE 5

 data from January 1, 2005 to August 31, 2008. Charlie Trotta, Manager,
 Palm Beach County Pretrial Services, suggested that if the program wants
 to initially target 100 individuals, there should be enough potential clients
 available from cases of Failure to Appear (FTA), Violation of Probation
 (VOP), and Violation of Supervised Own Recognizance (VSOR), including
 technical violations. Judge Nancy Perez (attending via telephone
 conference) further suggested prioritizing the candidates by the type of
 charge, e.g., targeting VSORs first, then FTAs, etc., going down the list as      Research & Planning Unit
 deemed appropriate. In addition, Chairman Duncan recommended, and
                                                                                   Criminal Justice Commission
 subsequently a motion was made and passed, to focus on sentenced
 inmates first to start the program, and then consider including pretrial          301 N. Olive Avenue
 individuals once the program is well underway. Regarding the                      Suite 1001
 determination as to which entity or entities should implement the program;        West Palm Beach FL 33401
 Judge Perez suggested making the decision based on criteria such as
 eligibility, what type of services will be provided, and the costs of the
 services. Nicole Saunders, Director, Palm Beach County Justice Services,
                                                                                   Telephone: (561) 355-4943
 suggested a collaborative approach, i.e., pooling resources, to reduce            FAX: (561) 355-4941
 costs, instead of designating a resource. Mr. Trotta also suggested               E-mail: cjcrpu@pbcgov.org
 modifying the requirements to make them easier to meet. Chairman
                                                                                   Internet: www.pbcgov.com/cjc
 Duncan encouraged everyone to review the draft of the proposal for the
 day reporting pilot project and provide comments on the requirements for
 potential vendors or bidders which will be discussed at the next meeting.

 Research Ideas & Questions
 The Research and Planning Unit is always looking for information and data
 that may be of interest to the Palm Beach County Board of Commissioners,
 the members of the Criminal Justice Commission, our staff, as well as the
 general public. We appreciate receiving research ideas and questions
 that focus on monitoring and evaluating Palm Beach County’s Criminal
 Justice Systems and programs funded in whole or in part by the Criminal
 Justice Commission. We know that we can benefit from the experience of
 others; therefore, we are interested in highlighting best practices and
 successful programs from other parts of the country and from around the
 world. We are also open to the possibility of undertaking joint research
 projects with both government and non-government sectors. If you have
 any questions, we encourage you to contact the Research and Planning
 Staff or contact the Criminal Justice Commission for further assistance.

The views expressed in this newsletter are those of the author and not the views
or policy positions of the Criminal Justice Commission or the Palm Beach County
Board of County Commissioners.