The 16th JUDICIAL CIRCUIT JUVENILE JUSTICE BOARD March 9, 2009 SCHOOL BOARD – TRUMBO ROAD CONFERENCE ROOM MINUTES CALL TO ORDER Ms. Kathy Kirkland called the meeting to order at 2:00 pm. ATTENDANCE Attendance was as follows: Teri Beers LaWanna Tynes Alexsa Leto LuAnn Diaz Diana Reagan Maureen Kempa Rev. Dr. Randolph Becker Heather Carruthers Rosemary Enright Janine Gedmin Jane Muir-Isherwood Kathy Kirkland Debra Patteson Susan Kunas, note taker INTRODUCTIONS Self-introductions were made around the room. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES The February minutes were accepted and approved. REPORT FROM THE CHAIR Ms. Kirkland reported that she participated in a Circuit Board Statewide Chairs conference call on Friday. Ms. Vogel was unable to participate due to a scheduling conflict. There was an update from the Legislative Affairs Director about the Bills that are in front of the Legislature for DJJ. If anyone has any questions about the Legislative Bills that regarding DJJ we can send an email question to Yvonne Woodward. Jason Welty is the Legislative Affairs Director. He said they are planning on holding these conference calls either weekly or bi-weekly while the legislature is in session. One bill in particular allows the Department the authority to make a referral to CINS/FINS Services program, for all youth age 9 or under, rather than handling them in the juvenile justice system. The other Bills were about the Blueprint Commission’s recommendations, they want to re-evaluate the Detention Risk Assessment Instrument every 7 years and have more members on the Detention Risk Assessment Instrument Committee. That is the instrument that the department and the court use to decide whether a child meets criteria to be locked up in secure detention or whether they score for home detention or if they are to be released to their parents. They are going to re-evaluate how that scoring is done. The Zero Tolerance bill regarding youth who get expelled from school for certain offenses (no matter what the circumstances) passed the Committee in the Senate. School Superintendents’ are also supporting this bill. There was another Bill about contracts as well as another regarding the Blueprint Commission. Ms. Vogel will have more to tell us later about these as the process goes on. Discussion on the Zero Tolerance policy is to make it less restrictive so youth who forget the box cutter in their backpack from their job at the grocery store and also youth who are being drug tested frequently and have a lot of supervision cannot re-enter the school. There are not alternative schools in Monroe County for them to attend. Anyone who has questions, please let Kathy Kirkland know and she can email Yvonne Woodward. Jane Muir-Isherwood requested a copy of the Zero Tolerance Bill. Ms. Kirkland gave us the Bill information, Senate Bill 1540 and it has already passed the Committee and the Senate Bill and the House Bill 997. A handout was passed out last meeting on the 2009 State Legislative Requests from Circuit 11 that RaiEtte Avael brought to our meeting. Billy Davis, Catherine Vogel and Kathy Kirkland met as a committee for this and tried to tailor it more to what we want for Monroe County. We discussed most of the changes last month about supervising Home Detention and the Zero Tolerance issue and also we want to keep our Juvenile Detention Center. Dr. Beers requested the “Legislative Requests” handout be edited to remove the sentence on page 2 under the last bullet “Monroe County compared to 31 statewide.” Janine Gedmin reported that the Sheriff’s office recently went out in Upper Keys locations and sent young underage looking officers in to purchase alcohol. The businesses handled them appropriately. There will be an Underage Drinking Workshop targeting House Parties and Underage Drinking on Friday, March 13th at the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Hangar Classroom located at 10100 Overseas Highway in Marathon from 9 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Debra Patteson will email this notice to the Juvenile Justice Board members. A motion was made to send the letter that Catherine Vogel addressed to Governor Crist regarding the Monroe County Juvenile Detention Center also be sent to the Committee Members. The letter was circulated around the table for everyone to review. Kathy Kirkland shared a phone call she received from the Mother of a juvenile victim relaying that she is very concerned about a developing gang problem. She was invited to come to this meeting but did not shown up today. Ms. Kirkland told her that if she chose not to come that she would make sure the Board is aware that she is in fear for her son’s safety because of the gangs on Stock Island and the people at school that continually threaten and harass him. She has been in touch with the Department referencing the boy who beat up her son and it’s in the court system again. Ms. Kirkland discussed that she feels there is a lot of graffiti out there again. For a while it seemed to be less. No one is present today from the Key West City Police Department; this is where Ms. Kirkland is seeing more graffiti. She brought this up to make people on the Board aware of her observations and to keep an eye out there. The new Sheriff’s administration is evaluating to see if there is a need for a Juvenile Gang Task Force. Known gangs here are the “Stock Rocks” and not the same type of gangs that you see in Miami. It seems over the last 2 or 2-1/2 years there has been more potential gang activity. The Board expressed an interest in having Steve Torrence report more about recent gang activity and if there is any interest from the Key West Police Department in attending the Circuit’s Gang Task Force. Debra Patteson from DJJ said there is a Gang Officer at Key West Police Department, she did not recall his name but would look that up. Debra is the Gang Liaison for DJJ; we’ve had a few meetings and every time we have met our numbers have decreased. If there is anyone who would like to sit in on the Gang Meetings, DJJ will add them to our invitation list. Kathy Kirkland reported that the City of Key West has an ordinance that graffiti and owners of businesses have to have it be removed or covered within a certain time frame. The Key West Police Department has participated with DJJ to have youth complete graffiti removal as part of their community service hours. REPORT BY DJJ PROBATION Debra Patteson reported on behalf of RaiEtte Avael today. DJJ provided 2 referrals to NAB this month. DJJ is continuing to see a lot of drugs and alcohol issues, as well as youth with serious mental health problems. There is also an increase in youth who are homeless – youth are being arrested and brought in for an intake who have no stable living arrangements - they not staying with anyone or their parents have left the state and have left them with friends, relatives, etc. These youth are not the same group as runaways who come down. It has been reported Project Lighthouse is packed with youth. REPORT BY DJJ DETENTION LaWanna Tynes reported that her Administrative Assistant position is frozen at this time and she is not allowed to fill it due to budget deficits. Other vacancies include one Supervisor and one Juvenile Detention Officer I position. Detention has 4 new hires that are being processed. Youth occupancy today is 4, but detention expects 3 or 4 youth will be admitted tomorrow. Capacity is 15. REPORT ON NEIGHBORHOOD ACCOUNTABILITY BOARD Dr. Becker spoke on the Neighborhood Accountability Board; he said that it is under the gun to reach the end of this year with some more people involved in the Program. NAB has received 2 referrals from DJJ and 3 more from the schools. The program can only count those 3 from the school as “half level” because there is less of an incentive for families to participate with us. He meets with the SST group at the high school and has an ongoing connection at HOB as well as the referrals from DJJ. This is a 90-day program; there is some confusion about the end date of June 30th. Dr. Becker reported that the youth does not have to be complete by June 30th but that it affects the dollars they receive from the Department. GUARDIAN AD LITEM PRESENTATION LuAnn Diaz made a presentation from the Guardian Ad Litem office to discuss recruiting efforts. They are really reaching out to the community for volunteers. GAL offers a 30 hour training and full support to the volunteers. They have many more children in need than volunteers. There is no education requirement to be a volunteer; a background check and reference check needs to be done. ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION There was a group discussion about possible programs and opportunities for the youth to participate in this summer. Clare Shaw reported on several upcoming grant possibilities that are available. Janine Gedmin mentioned that the Sheriff’s Explorer program is trying to get up and running again. SRO Sonja Morgan is the contact for the program for ages 9 or 10 and up to seniors in high school. She runs both groups, the younger and older kids. There is a $25 charge but if a youth cannot come up with the money the cost can be waived. They do camping trips, competitions between other explorer groups etc. They are looking for more participants. There is also PAL (Police Athletic League) and they go to competitions also and boxing. The letter to Governor Crist was approved and will be resent with a corrected first page. Carol Eisenman has requested that these meetings be changed back to the original time so she can attend. This item will be placed on the agenda for next month. NEXT MEETING: April 13, 2009 @ 2:00 PM. ADJOURNMENT: The meeting was adjourned at 2:55 PM.