tv This Week in Northern California PBS October 1, 2011 1:30am-2:00am PDT
effect saturday with a sheift o low-level offenders. san francisco d.a. george pascon is pushed to release an internal document. five neighborhood oakland schools face closure, and others may be consolidated. plus, san francisco jazz director randall cline, a look forward to their new permanent jazz center, coming up next.
>> belva: good evening. i'm belva davis. joining me on our news panel are jill tucker, san francisco staff writer. rachel gordon and scott schafer, host of the california report. scott, explain to us what is realignment. how will it work? >> the way it's supposed to work, belva is that starting october first, tomorrow, counties are going to take responsibility for low-level lon non-violent non-sex offender enmates who are currently in state prisons. the county is going to be responsible for any parole violations. they are going to go to the county jail. that's exactly what's going to
happen. >> there was like thousands of inmates, right, who would be coming to the county jails and going to county probation. >> right now the u.s. supreme court is requiring the state to reduce its prison population by 30,000 inmates over two years. this is a corner stone of that. the state feels that in order to do that responsibly they are going to do it slowly. these inmates are going to be going back to county gradually. it is not going to be a flood of inmates who are going to be let out of prison on october first. it is going to be people sentenced going forward on october first. people who violate parole going forward as well from october first will be going back to county jail instead of state prison. so, to hope is that by having all these programs to help these folks reenter the community, they will be more affective. it will be less expensive for the state. because obviously the prison budget has been exploding and
there's just too many people in state prison. >> i wanted to ask a little bit, i think money is always a big issue in california and how are we going to pay for this. i think the counties are incredibly worried about all these people coming back to them and what they need to do. i know almeda county, for example won't be keeping these type prisoners anyway, right? >> right. the counties that have been relatively liberal that don't send a lot of people to state prison right now are going to get less money. whereas counties like kern county, san bern dee no, river side county where they send people to state prison where a lot of cities in alameda wouldn't, they are going to get more money. they are worried about that. the state has agreed after one year to visit the formula for funding. so you can be sure that more
liberal counties are going to ask that that be changed because they are getting the short end of the stick right now. >> let's talk about the practical part of this. you now have people in the county. they are to be overseen by i guess the local probation officers rather than going to the state parole board. but the issue in oakland is there just aren't jobs for people. so, how do you maintain order with people who are coming out with a record and sometimes without skills so that you don't have more trouble? >> great question. this is a terrible time to be implementing this policy. it's very hard, under the best of circumstances it's hard if you're a parolee to get a job. you may have a record, substance abuse problems in many cases. you have gaps in your resume. part of the idea behind realignment is that local communities are going to do these wrap around services so they are going to help people do
interviews, get jobs, help them find employers who are willing to take a risk. >> but at the same time, those are all the things that we've cut back. we've cut back mental health r servi services, services for alcohol and drug dependency. subsidized housing, health care. all those things have been completely trimmed back. these are going to be the people who need it to most, right? >> absolutely right. they have been cut back at the county and state level. very little rehabilitation going on right now in state prison. you've got people in prison with all these problems, substance abuse, literacy problems, you name it. they are going to be coming back to the counties and the counties are now going to be responsible with their budget and a lot of help from the state. >> the counties now are saying that it is not muff money. it is interesting to listen to sheriffs around the bay area and probation chiefs arounded the bay area, district attorneys, public defenders, even the board
of supervisor, a lot of people think this is a great idea. it is going to be perfect for us. we want to be able to keep them close to the community. but it's going to be really messy for the first couple years at least. it is going to be a really deflt transition period. there also might be a spike in crime for the people who otherwise would have been in state prison who are back in the local community. >> absolutely. you're hearing that even in san francisco like you say. it's such a -- this is the biggest change in criminal justy policy in california in at least 30 years. that tl's a lot of nuance to it and you're going to see a lot of confusion as to who comes to the jail, who we going to let out of jail to make room. so, you're right. even though they are saying these are non-violent, non-serious offenders, but you do have people with criminal history who are going to be more quickly out on the streets or perhaps not in jail at all.
either with home supervision or gps devices so you're increasing the likelihood that crime is going the spike up. >> some people are saying this will contribute to a safer environment. >> the ri sid vichl rate is 70%. 70% go back for parole violations or a new crime. so the hope is that local community cans ies can do a bet. that's the hope. the fear is that the money won't be there to do it right. >> i have never been under the impression that there is a lot of room in these jails. >> a lot of counties are under court order to reduce the population so they are going to have to let some of those folks out to make room for the new ones. >> belva: we have eluded to the fact that this might be difficult in alameda.
the oakland schools just got a grant to deal with troubled areas, and yet, the same area. they are thinking about closing some neighborhood schools. >> they are. it's interesting jumping from the prison population. all the research that says kids can read by the time they are in third grade and they are on track, they won't land in the jails. so, you know, there's definitely an idea that we need to really bolster our education system. it's always a little disconcerting when we hear that oakland is looking at closing at least five elementary school this is year and consolidating or merging eight others. so a total of 13 schools with 13 principals. some are located on the same campus. they would be close. specifically five elementary schools that are serving in many cases predominantly african american and hispanic population. >> when you talk about closing
school this is year, this is mid-year that they are thinking at it? >> no. they want to do it early in the. >> in terms of telling people what schools are going to be closed. >> yes. but they are not having to shut the classrooms down. >> they would close at the end of the year. it would give parents time to figure out where they wan their kids to go next year. there would be about 900 students that would have to transfer to a new elementary school. the superintendent believes all of those kids could land in higher performance schools. these are very small schools in many cases. oakland has too many schools. the reason they are closing down the schools is because they have 101 schools for 38,000 students. >> do you remember a few years ago there was a small school movement and bill gates and others supported it and gave money to places like oakland to create smaller community-based schools. is this now kind of a legacy. some of the same schools are going to have to be closed? >> some are merging and becoming
one school again. there are seven high schools. many of them are located on two campuses. those schools were separated into seven different schools and they are bringing them back together. that was an experiment that brought a lot of money into oakland from the bill gates foundation, and when they said this isn't working out so well. we're not going to support small schools, they left and they left this legacy, as you said, of all these small schools that oakland can no longer afford. >> so we know the parents are out fighting for this. they don't want to be told that's happening. what's going on with the teachers, the principals, the folks that are more on the ground and not in the administrative offices in oakland? >> the teachers union recognizes that you can't have 101 schools for 38,000 students. just by comparison san jose has
a lot less. the teachers are sort of saying closing schools should be the last resort. so they are taking on things like the number of charter schools that oakland has. they would like to see some of chose charter schools, some of those lower performing charter schools shut down perhaps so we can grab some of those kids back. >> why didn't they look at that first? is it location? >> charter schools have a lot of laws regulating them. it can be tough to close them down once they get the charter. there are certain rules about how they are regulated and how they can be renewed. you can only -- they look at renewal every five years, four years, something like that. they done have a lot of control over that. that is a movement in oakland. there is a lot of charter schools. that has drained away. >> oak sland a very diverse city. of course the schools are particularly so. a lot of african americans,
latino students. how is race playing into all of this, if at all? >> when i was at the control board meeting on tuesday, there was probably 400 people there. it's always shocking when you hear sort of the racially charged conversations, people accusing the school board and the superintendent of making the school closures the katrina of oakland to drive african americans out of city. >> parents are saying that? >> parents, community activist. i will say that in oakland this is going to be an incredibly devicive issue as they go for final vote in late october. it's going to be racially -- it is going to be ugly. >> how much of that decision is final. we heard a couple years ago in san prfrancisco they wanted to close schools. >> is it. >> they are going to eliminate 13 schools. >> no matter what.
>> they are talking about 20 to 30 total. so this is just the first in probably two or three years of school closings. >> how much money are they going to save? >> five schools, give or take, about $2 million. doesn't sound like a lot when it is $420 million budget. ultimately it adds up in terms of administrative cost, facilities cost, all those things add up and they need every dime they can get. >> belva: i don't want to leave the issue of race in this not clear. will this affect schools, some races disproportionate to others? >> depends on which schools they choose. ultimately when you look at the oakland school population doesn't have a lot of white students. they have more african american, hispanic students and more schools are segregated. when you look at closing them, it's pretty hard not to find a school that has a high proportion of a certain race. so, yes, it will affect. santa fe is predominantly
african american. the other is predominantly hispanic. >> belva: there is an election coming up. they will be soon going to the polls i suppose. not that soon. and they'll have to choose a d.a. >> right. it is an interesting race to see what's going on. there is an incumbent district attorney who was never elected. in fact, one of the last acts of the now lieutenant governor said i am going to pull you from being police chief and making you the district attorney. the reason that job was open is because harris who is now the state attorney general moved on and they had a vacancy to fill. a lot of these checker games going on of who's filling this. not necessarily a shoe in, although he is definitely a front runner. there are four other challenges, fairly serious of them. david onick is one of them.
used to be a police commissioner in san francisco who is also an attorney. never prosecuted a case before. bill fazio, a perennial candidate for the district attorney's job. he was a long-time prosecutor in the san francisco district attorney's office who snou a criminal defense attorney. and bach who is the prosecutor running in the race. he just wans to make a go of it here in san francisco. just talking about it, he also has never prosecuted a case, but he has a reputation of a reformer, something he did in the police department. also a pretty good manager. >> you don't necessarily think of d.a. races as terribly exciting i guess. but this one is definitely heating up and kind of getting ugly. i think they are riding on the issue of the dna lab that harris had before she moved on to statewide office. talk a little bit about -- >> yeah. what's interesting in this is
that all the other challengers are really ganging up on gascon. one of the things he mentioned was this memo about the dna lab in the police department. there was a memo written for the district attorney's office about they have to worry about the dna evidence collected there. last year they had a lot of problems with the crime lab for the police department. there is a memo that was written that george gascon is refusing to release right now. the courts of common said, one of the judges said look, you've got to release this memo because there might be information that public defenders could use to help clear, exonerate some of their clients. he said no, there is nothing. brady law. nothing in this memo that's going to clear a client. really back to a 1976 very brutal rape of james mayfield who was accused and charged with this crime because of dna evidence. it is his attorneys pushing et,
but it is really the challengers in the district attorney's race making this a big case saying george gascon, what do you have to hide. >> usually there is more of an air of excitement about the race. i will be moderating the debate next week with the sheriff's candidates. you'll be doing one, the two of you at the mayor's candidates. people can learn if they like. get excite fd they leek. >> yeah. you want to know who's going to prosecute your crimes in san francisco. >> thank you, rachel. >> belva: well, the san francisco festival is understood way and will run through december 18th with an exciting lineup of diverse artists and music.
the new san francisco jazz center opens. recently i spoke with the founder and executive director randall cline about what's coming up. >> belva: it is a pleasure to have you here, especially near the beginning of the season which is going to go on for another few months. >> uh-huh. >> belva: let me just ask you, after 29 years of this, still excitement about a new season? >> i hate to admit it, but, yes. everything. we have a lot of shows this weekend. it's what makes it interesting. always new artists.
always something to learn. so, yeah, i get excited like it was the first concert. >> belva: how do you interpret your own direction in terms of being the father of the jazz movement in the bay area? preservation of the old and the introduction of the new. >> well, it's a balance because partd of what jazz is about is about moving forward. part of that is honoring the legacy and history of it. as an organization we've always taken a stance of looking a little more forward than backward because this is a particular art form to celebrate. not just my personal taste, but the taste, particularly, of who our audience is here in the bay area. tomorrow night, esperanza spalding is performing. she is a young artist. extraordinary to see someone come on the scene and get
everybody exited about jazz again. >> belva: i was a disk jockey with those legacy people way back then. it was very unusual for women to play bass, and number two to be recognized as the headliner. >> yeah. things are changing a lot more women in jazz. there still is not a lot of instrumentalist. esperan esperanza is a bass player. immediately she feel into sort of an advanced scene. she was playing before she graduated with the top jazz musicians. she left school working with joe lovano's band and he was an in-demand bass player. not long after that was on the faculty. she's on the faculty at berkley right few. she just won a grammy.
she happens to be an instrumentalist in jazz. very unusual and it's a great thing to see. ♪ ♪ >> what am i so happy for? if i live or if i die. >> belva: wonderful programs and venues all over the city. a new concept for me when i first found out how jazz would operate because you're used to going to new york where people stay in one venue. was this difficult for you to get people used to the idea that you could have a festival and didn't have it like monterrey. >> how people think, monterrey
or new port and temperature idea that you're going to be in one place for a weekend. what we did was a little defere deferent. what would an urban festival be like. really it's more like a performing arts service come presed into a festival period of time. we launch our new project in building our own place. we're going to be back to one place again. we've really taken advantage of all the jewels of the bay area and trying to match the performers with the appropriate venue. >> what are names of people my age that you would recognize that you are booking, and what are the names that are going to be drawing the big crowd for the new people. >> ahmed jamal. then brad melvow. a duo. >> what are you going to do in
this new building? what's the main thing you're excited about other than not having to run around town? >> the main thing is really establishing a sense of a cultural home for jazz and a community center for jazz much like the establish arts institutions that are here and in every city. what's really most gratifying about realizing this project is we're going to be down the street from the symphony hall and opera house and ballet head quarters for an art form that's relatively new. a great, great thing to do. what we're going to do deferently is obviously honor the legacy of jazz. a lot more around education. going to be developing more and more things with our high school programs and middle school programs and have a chance to sort of develop younger musicians. of course we're going to be presenting tons of music. >> so, america still respects jazz. nobody believes it's really dead. they have been telling me that for 30 years or so. >> it's exciting. as i said earlier, it is an art
form that has always regenerated and always been about growing. there's more -- what's different actually now. i was going to say there is more musicians than ever before. this formal training program, something that was very different from what jazz was 40, 50 years ago. so there's lots of young jazz payers learning differently than musicians did then. extraordinarily young talent out there, a lot of it. >> belva: we look forward to seeing it. season runs through december. >> yes. >> belva: just a mix of all kinds of folks who like the sound of jazz. thank you, randall cline. >> thank you, belva. my thanks to all of you for joining me here tonight. that's all for tonight. visit kqed.org this week to watch complete episodes and segments and to subscribe to our newsletter an pod cast and to share your thoughts about the program. we close with the music of