tv Government Access Programming SFGTV May 16, 2019 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
monroe, young women's freedom centre, cjc jay, and more organizations that provide opportunities to help young people be successful, including me. to give you an example of how the system needs to improve, when i was on the board of education, we had to fight with the leadership of jay p.d. to provide access to the internet in juvenile hall. i understand issues of safety, but there are five or walls that exist to handle this. the lack of access to the internet reinforces the fact that we have not been trying to adequately educate our youth during incarceration, and have been focused on punitive aspects of incarceration. we can, and we will do so much better. all of what i just explained his preparation for how to endure being incarcerated, and how to handle punishment. this is not a job killer, i'm a dog -- dog creator and i have created hundreds of jobs in my career. this actually allows for moral bus programming, and more opportunities for jobs help
young people become successful. i want to clear up and dispel a few myths head on. one, there is a myth that we have not talked to communities or had conversations. we have met with members of all communities, black latino, asian , pacific islander, lgbtq, juvenile justice experts, youth, youth commission, the juvenile justice providers association, formerly incarcerated youth, member, -- labor, and many experts in the field of juvenile justice. there are few talking heads running around claiming they should have been part of the discussion, when they wouldn't know what juvenile justice was if it hit them in the head. we have spoken to all the experts, and in fact, even the chronicle highlighted the failures of the current juvenile justice system. the cost and lack of positive effect for young people and the reduction in crimes committed by young people. two, there is a myth we did not discuss this with the leadership of jay p.d. this is untrue, immediately
after i was elected, at the end of last year before taking office, i met with the latter part of 2018 and told the chief to his face we should shut down juvenile hall and find an alternative, this was said at starbucks on 16th street in kansas, and the reality of this is the leadership of jay p.d. is part of the reason we are here. the lack of innovation, the lack of focus on read ability is imperative. furthermore, the cabin ranch was shut down last june, where is the plan for positive places for young people in the absence? there was never a plan. jay p.d. waited until we decided to close juvenile hall or even taking any steps to improve outcome for young people. that is appalling, as our black and brown use continue to be disproportionately locked down and disconnected to adequate services that lead towards success and change. number 3, there are people that will say the population is down because of j.p.d.
i agree 100% that this is part of it. it is also due to the partnerships with juvenile justice experts and c.b.o. that provide true leadership, individualize opportunities for youth, none of this changes with the legislation. and we are pushing to increase these opportunities for engagement with young people, and a less institutionalized setting. more conducive to learning how to be productive. as i said before, this is not a job killer, but a job creator. we will have more robust programming, and more need for councilors in juvenile justice councilors to come together with plans a fully engage young people and prepare them for successful futures. also, we have a specific workgroup area of focus dedicated to labor that works directly with labor to address concerns, discuss more job opportunities, and continue roles for all staff. i have personally created
hundreds of jobs and have never let down labor, whether it was with the fight in that decision, whether it was opening civil services to and temporary employment with the school district, i am your number 1 advocate. that will not change. number 5, we have spoken with mental health providers, including dr. kovacs and the department of public health, and asked about more mental health beds and support to address the specific needs of our young people with mental health issues we know this is a big piece of the conversation, and we need those assessments, we have assessed what mental health services are being provided by d.p.h. and how we can improve on them as well. this is not a game for us, but it is about the future of our young people in san francisco. we have spoken with all the experts, not focused on folks spewing hot air without fax. i've also personally spend the morning in the courtroom, i have spoken with judges in the system
, who want us to do a better job. i wish i had the time to run around and play make-believe, but we have real work to do to improve the lives of our young people, and that is what this alternative will do. last myth i want to dispel, that we will send youth out of county , one, we would never, ever propose anything that would send our youth out of county. it is our job in san francisco to take care of our young people there's also a myth that youth would be locked up in county jails. again, people are not doing their research. that is against the law. we could not even do that if that was something that was being proposed, but we would never propose anything like that that is a complete fallacy. i want to dispel those myths. i could say a lot more, but i will save the rest of my comments for later, but i do want to talk about some facts and some data from a fact sheet real quick.
one, a large juvenile hall is no longer needed. youth crime has steadily declined over the past 20 years. in san francisco with arrest rates have declined by over 87% since 1990. statewide, the violent felony arrest rate dropped by about 67% since 1995. in 2018, on average, two thirds of the beds in juvenile hall were empty every day. in december, 2018, for example, 40 children were detained in juvenile hall, filling only 20 7% of its 150 beds. 30% of these children were being held on a misdemeanour offences awaiting trial. half of the children where their post- disposition roof waiting there court order placement. detained children is ineffective research has shown that incarcerating young people does not make our community safer, but does the opposite. in a recent study, researchers
at brown university and m.i.t. found that incarcerating young people increase the likelihood that they would go to jail as an adult by 23%. it is in fact, the single biggest predictor of future incarceration, leading to that prison pipeline. detaining children at juvenile hall is a waste of city funds. the budget for juvenile hall does not reflect today's low numbers of incarcerated youth. in 2017, the fiscal year, the city budgeted $13 million for juvenile hall, despite the significantly reduced number of incarcerated youth. the average annual cost per year for each youth detained has arisen 120 7% in the last ten years. imagine what we all could do together for young people when we shift that investment and focus on improving their lives. the majority of detained children have mental health
issues. in december 2019, 90% of children in juvenile hall have suffered from mental health issues. almost a third were being administered psychotropic medication, and during the last quarter of 2018, four incarcerated youth had to be hospitalized outside of the facility for medical or mental health. each youth should have individualized plan -- plans to address their needs. dealing children is a civil rights issue. an issue that the illustrious naacp has taken on for decades. black youth make a four-point nine% of all children under 18 in san francisco, and yet 55% of the children booked in juvenile hall in 2018 were black. latino and pacific islander youth are also consistently overrepresented -- overrepresented eight. i don't have to talk about the trends that we see here.
this legislation will mandate that the board of supervisors closed juvenile hall at 375 woodside by december of 2021 and instead develop an expanded array of alternatives to incarceration, a small rehabilitative, noninstitutional centre for the small minority of youth who cannot safely be released in the community, and who must be obtained -- detained anyone who tells you or are letting people go free, commit crimes, and be heinous individuals, that is not the case. we are saying we want to provide a better in custody experience. i want to reiterate, we want to provide a better in custody experience for our young people. two, right a 13 person implementation working group made up of key city agencies, the courts, labor, formerly incarcerated youth, juvenile justice experts and community representatives that will meet regularly for up to 2.5 years to
meet the december 2021 deadline. specifically, this group will conduct a throne needs assessment, identify existing programs and how to improve on existing programs, identify what services and programs are needed , design a small noninstitutional secure centre in san francisco for the minority of youth who must be detained as required by law, and answer the question when people ask, what are we going to do with the youth, the small number of youth that have to be incarcerated for state law, design and create a small noninstitutional secure centre in san francisco for the minority of youth who must be detained as required by state law. reassign, work with the workforce, adds the current staff and councilors and opportunities and other city employees this will create a youth justice reinvestment fund
that redirects funds historically allocated for juvenile hall to the small community-based alternatives to detention to current detention, the secure youth centre, and additional mental health and academic supports for juvenile justice youth. there -- there are also workgroup areas don't talk about and bring up later, but he did want to acknowledge supervisor ronen at this time. >> thank you so much supervisor walton for your fearless leadership on this issue. i just want to start off also by apologizing for the changing time. i feel it was incredibly disrespectful, and as a result of it, i can't be here for the entire hearing, which i'm so upset about. i will make introductory remarks and then i can only stay until 1:00 p.m., but i will be watching during my other meeting , your testimony, and now go back and watch all your testimony tonight because hearing from you is by far the most important thing in this hearing, so i commit to you that i will watch every one of you
speak on san francisco government t.v. where this is all being televised tonight. with that, i just wanted to give if you think use and then read something that someone else has written, and i will explain that in a minute. this legislation is a long time coming. for years, community-based organizations, young people, and families have been asking the city to stop the inhumane and ineffective practice of jailing children and concrete slabs for beds. they have asked that our city leaders imagine something better for our city's most vulnerable children, something that could actually help them and their family find stability and enter down a positive path. that day has finally come. i must thank the key organizations who have fought for this and who have worked with my office and supervisor walton and supervisor haney to craft this legislation.
youth law institute, the centre center of juvenile and criminal justice, advocates for youth, legal services for children, and many, many members of the juvenile justice providers association. if you haven't yet read the cover story by sawyer on the s.f. weekly magazine this morning that profiles the young women's freedom center, i highly encourage it. it is a beautiful article that explains how long they have been in this struggle, begging their elected officials to take the type of action we are taking today. i can't think this community enough. you are the heroes of this victory. i would also like to give a shout out to the core group of individuals who gave an incredible amount of time to make sure this legislation was written responsibly, who poured
over numerous drafts and gave important insight to our office 's every step of the way. jessica nolan, meredith, patty lee, katie miller, and i want to thank david mohammed, james bell , and dan who provided critical feedback on the early draft, and a huge, huge thank you, and i know i am sending a thank you with supervisors walton and haney to our mating after some aging -- amazing legislative staffers for their tireless work, their heart and soul that they poured into this piece of legislation. i am so proud that we have been able to collectively put forward this proposal today that is bold , and also thoughtfully crafted in order to change the way the city changed -- treats children who have been charged with and a fence. with that, i was scrapped the rest of my comments so we can
get you all as soon as possible, but i want to read something that i received this morning that has been proving the point that you all and kids have been scream out loud, but i am hoping that it will provide a little bit more context for people who try to pretend that juvenile hall is anything but a jail. it is a jail, it is like any other jail, any other prison in this country, and this is a testimony to public defender, juvenile public defender robert dunlop where he gives, i will read several of the points that he makes about what it is like being in juvenile hall every single day. during mealtime, they are kids sit at tables huddled around their trays, forbidden to speak to one another. when i ask, what is the reason for this, i was told, because that is the policy. the real reason i suspect, as with most of the rules in juvenile hall, is it is to
further the convenience of the guard, silent kids are easier to manage, and if they transgress by speaking and receive room time, they become even easier to manage. win-win. on the topic of food, parents are allowed to bring snacks on saturday, nothing healthy or homemade, only soda and prepackaged junk food, third point, which brings us to visiting, no grandparents, no aunts, no uncles, no adult siblings, no minor siblings, no ministers, of friends of the family, unless they are legal guardians. otherwise, just the parents. many times, a single parent his drop was trying to work, run a household, and look after younger children. that cannot visit as often as they like. having a grandparent come as a logical solution. not to gpd, his justification is , how do we know they really are the grandparents? fourth point, even for the parents, visiting can be rough.
none allowed on mondays or fridays, 50 minute time slots on saturdays and sundays in the mpr with dozens of other people around, and during the week, you can only have an afternoon nap. before dinner or an evening pass after dinner. it parent cannot visit both times on a given day, nor can the alternate. afternoon one day, evening the next. you only get one type of pass. parents with variable work schedules can only visit when their shifts coincide with their past. fifth point, passes are generally issued in 30 day increments. if your kid is and longer and you don't know the expiration date, you can come home from work, see the kids and the driven away. people drove hours to get here all for not. six-point, after visiting with her parents under direct observation by staff, the children are taken to a shower stall and strip-searched by a guard. seventh point, even for kids not
being punished, the default is room confinement with accessions -- exceptions carved out for meals and programming. often a guard will be sitting alone watching a football game with every kid locked up in his room. eight-point. and spite of a recent anti- shackling laws, kids are vastly over restrained juvenile hall. even when walking from unit seven and distant feet, the kid is shackled by -- behind his back, walked over, then re shackled for the return trip. this in a place where every entrance is locked and controlled with multiple steel doors. this further imprints on the kids the notion they are criminals, as if the whole juvenile hall atmosphere were not enough, complete with sleeping on concrete slabs and using steel toilets. as the district attorney stated in a recent chronicle article, we recognize that institutionalizing people, especially young people for low-level offences actually has the reverse impact. it does not deter them.
ninth point, kids are not allowed to sleep in the dark. delight is kept on. if the kid puts a piece of paper over it to darken the room in order to sleep, more room time. tenth point, demerit based point systems. kids are categorized as being on level one through four based on time. it takes a week to move up a level and a lack of negative him performance. transgression, such as having too many books in your room that is actually a rule results in a level reduction. doing something well, on the other hand, like getting straight a's, does not yield promotion. this is a microcosm of the system as a whole, needed no -- negative reinforcement based on determined models. children in particular respond much more favourably to positive reinforcement. we all know this. eleventh point, when a child is injured by juvenile hall staff or otherwise and needs to go to the hospital, the parents are not informed until well after the fact.
generally after the kid has returned to custody. thus, parents are not afforded the opportunity to visit in the hospital and confer on treatment options. .12, children are often -- are largely isolated from the outside world. they are not allowed to watch the news or read newspapers, even the sports page of the comics for fear of inciting gang violence. yet they are allowed to watch movies and listen to music with foul language, with antisocial themes and misogynist messages. materials many parents would not condone at home. thirteenth point, because the children are not serving sentences, per se, they have no release date. from day to day, week to week, they never know what day they will be released from custody. nor do they know what time it is on a given day because there are no clocks in any of the housing units. ostensibly so the kids cannot coordinate an escape plan. serving time is hard for anyone. all the more so when you cannot keep track of it.
i really want to think public defender robert dunlop for sending that. i want to emphasize the point that attempting to put a lipstick on a. is still a. this jail needs to be shut down. we are more visionary than this. we have more adequate and updated science on how i use's brain develops. we have the resources to provide the best mental health service, the most rude rehabilitative setting where we can truly alter the path of a children's life. many of whom have mental health illnesses and who have been subjected to trauma their entire life. these are children. these are our pigs -- these are our kids. we can and must do better by them. [applause]. >> thank you.
>> to the members of the public or here for the proceedings, assist us in having an expeditious and clear hearing by referring from interrupting the proceedings with your applause. if you want to show your support , you can raise your hands and jiggle them, we will see them and take note, or a thumbs-up or thumbs down is clear as well. thank you very much. >> again, thank you for your continued patience. we will get to public comment very soon. i know supervisor haney has words as well. >> i will be brief because i know there are a lot of people waiting to speak here, and much of what i was going to say was said by supervisors ronen and walton. i want to appreciate both of your leadership. i want to appreciate the leadership of all of the organizations that were named, and community leaders who have been a part of drafting this legislation. i think it has been something that they have called for and fought for four decades, i also want to recognize their work to
even get us to this point to be having this conversation. san francisco has seen a lot of success as a leader in juvenile justice reform, which has led to a dramatic decline in the number of young people who are committing crimes, who are being arrested, and who are being incarcerated. that is something that should be recognized, and it is something that was fought for by people who were directly involved in it and impacted by the system. this is the next step in that. if we are truly a city that believes in support, treatment, love and compassion for our young people. we cannot continue to rely on incarceration of children, and i think that is something that we have learned because we have seen the success of alternatives we have seen what it looks like when we invest and support, when we have innovative solutions when we support educational
opportunities, rather then incarceration, and i want to recognize, also that a lot of the staff who work at juvenile hall have also been part of this success, and have, themselves spoken out for the need for reform. the kids at juvenile hall are some of the most vulnerable children in our city and many of them have experience -- experience neglected trauma, mental health crises, and what we know from all of the research , incarceration makes things worse for people who are in that situation. makes them more isolated, more disconnected from their families and their support networks, and what young people need is support and not separation. we have done incredible amounts of outreach for this legislation already, but this is also the
beginning of a process in many ways, there will be more feedback, they will be more committee meeting is, they will be a working group that will take lots of research and have a lot of process to get us to the right decision. ultimately, this is to include people, not to leave anyone out. for the three of us, and many others, we have had town halls. i had the privilege of hosting the youth town hall we focus the conversation on what young people want to have happen moving forward, and what they told us was pretty straightforward. they want the money that would be saved from closing juvenile hall to be reinvested in community-based programs, housing, and job opportunities for young people. they told us that they wanted a supportive and rehabilitative environment that looks at the strengths of young people and their families and build on them community programs are best to commit to soup -- to provide
support. would be smart to listen to young people who have the direct experience and to know what is best for themselves. i also want to recognize that as i mentioned, i met with many of the staff at juvenile hall. there are many excellent staff who have made their careers working with youth, and have positive relationships with the youth in their family. as supervisor walton said, a few staff members want to continue working with youth, then we need to reenvision a system that includes them, includes their commitment and builds on the skills and experiences that they have. as i also mentioned, the staff at juvenile hall have told me across the board that they want to see kringle justice reform as well and they are open to significant change in the system what they want is a seat at the table. they want to be part of the conversation reform, and we want them to have a seat at the table there institutional knowledge, their commitment, the expertise is valued, and needed for any truly successful reform to happen, but i want to underline,
and this has been said before, we know that we can do this, we have seen extraordinary shifts in san francisco, and this is one that we absolutely need if we are going to serve our young people in a way that we know works, that respects them as individuals, respects their humanity, respects their needs, and moves away from a system that was built at a time when we should have known better because people were telling us there was a better way, but we have learned a lot, even since the plans were put in place to build this facility about the right environment for children, about how best to serve children, we should not just keep doing the same thing because it is what is in place now because we are playing -- paying for it when we filled these kids and we know that through community based opportunities that are support driven, and we can do much better than we are doing now.
thank you. >> thank you, supervisor haney, and supervisor ronen. i believe you have another thank you. >> because i scrapped my speech, i wanted to also thank jill tucker and joaquin of the san francisco chronicle. i think their investigative reporting on this issue is extraordinary and it played a major role in this effort in where we are today. thank you so much. >> i second that. with that said, we are going to open up for public comment. we will do one thing, if all of the young people, all of the students that are here out of school who came to speak this morning, if we could have them come and line up. we will take all of the young people who are here first. [applause] and then i will go in order because -- all the young people
who are here from school, please line up and you will speak first and everybody has two minutes of the microphone. >> good morning. i want to think, on behalf of san francisco school, i want to thank the board of supervisors for pushing this initiative and doing what you will do in general. no community -- community work is not easy and time-consuming, and you have families and
personal life to deal with, and i know that sometimes that is hard for you. i appreciate that. just why we are here a little bit, i am -- i work at the san francisco school and we are the only islamic school in san francisco, we want to see -- we went to see hilary low ronen last month because of our citizenship seen that we are working on. i came there for a different project, but left with something else. while we were there, we were asking about all the responsibilities that supervisors have, what their day is like, how they solve problems , with the budget is like and we were introduced to the initiative of closing juvenile hall. when we got back, we became very intrigued by this initiative, we changed the project we were working on. we said, instead of making our students supervise the city, and giving them problems, and having them try to fix the problems, let's talk about the close of juvenile hall, and let's write
essays entering those essays into persuasive letters. today we are here to deliver those letters. our students wrote letters on behalf of the research, and we are here to deliver them today. when you see an injustice, you try to change it with your hands , and if you can't change it with your hands, you at least speak out about it, and if you can't speak out about it, then at least you feel bad about it in your heart and that's the least you can do. today we are doing something, and speaking out. we can't read all the letters, so we will have a couple of our students with respect to time, to speak and read their letters and share with you their thoughts. thank you so much. >> hello, i am in fourth grade in san francisco islamic school. dear seven cisco supervisors. there are many great places in san francisco, juvenile hall isn't one of them. many youth who are put in the
jail have committed small crimes and 90% of them have mental health issues. juvenile hall should be shut down because it uses too much money and does not solve problems. instead, we should offer programs to help the youth. that the prison spends $11.9 million per year. there are 150 beds, but only less then 50 youth are arrested in the year. the hall spends hall spends $1,400 every day for each youth. since we don't use the building that much, why don't we close it the probation chief of juvenile hall says, i can't imagine how we could keep the community safe of these youth if we do not have a juvenile hall faculty. he says there will also be youth who require restrictive environments at times, and also, he says it will be unfortunate
and unkind. i agree with him that kids should be punished if they break the law, but that shouldn't mean that they go to prison. the government should close juvenile hall and make organizations like the young women's freedom centre that will help the youth. jessica nolan grew up on the streets and was arrested for shoplifting at the age of 13. she remembered the day the guard or print herself door to tell her her sister died. after that she got really depressed and she landed at the young women's freedom centre. that was the first place that told her she was not a bad person. she became the head of the centre. >> thank you so much, sweetie. [applause] next speaker.
>> my name is yasmin and i am in sixth grade. i wrote this letter and i would like to share with you. juvenile hall is supposed to be a rehab center to help kids in need, not a place for kids have nightmares. when kids get incarcerated, they feel like they failed in life, so why are we spending around $12 million a year on juvenile hall when we could spend it on homeless shelters or rehab centers and programs to help the children. how come we haven't close juvenile hall years ago? if an event happen such as someone they really love died and they can't watch the funeral because they are incarcerated, they are going to feel guilty and live with the guilt. why are kids going to juvenile hall? because they need special treatment and don't have it, or because their parents weren't the best parents? in fact, most kids are in juvenile hall because they need special treatment, or their parents weren't there for them. as a matter of fact, 90% of kids
in juvenile hall need special treatment. we should put an end to child incarceration and give them the care they needed. the number of arrests have decreased since 1980, which means that we might not do need to juvenile hall anymore. most of the kids incarcerated feel like juvenile hall isn't a rehabilitation center, but instead a jail. less then a third of the san francisco juvenile hall spaces artful. the closure of san francisco juvenile hall should have been closed years ago, but it isn't too late now. [applause] >> next speaker. i have a list of speaker cards.
[calling names] >> thank you, supervisor. i'm with the centre on juvenile and criminal justice. thank you for this hearing. i just want to thank all of you for your support in this important legislation. as i've said before, it is long overdue. i also want to say one thing. san francisco has been operating two juvenile justice systems for a long time. the one you hear about in the one you don't. they are doing the bulk of the work and it is represented here in this group. there are community agencies
that aren't -- that are working with their kids in their homes, and their families, in their neighborhoods, working day today and they don't get the credit. that is due -- the juvenile justice system that is working in san francisco. unfortunately, we are at a point where we have to make a decision to be moved to a 21st century system, or do we continue with the old 19th century system. the 19th century system founded on juvenile hall arrest and incarceration, or detention incarcerated -- incarceration. it is time we move on in san francisco and we set the standard, not just for the city in the bay area, but the nation. i congratulate all of you. it is time. thank you. >> hello, supervisors. my name is nancy rubin. i i'm representing a group of retired and former department heads, nonprofit organization executive directors, and other people that have worked tirelessly over the past 40 years in both the adult and
juvenile criminal justice system i know a few of you. i was a former c.e.o. of edgewood centre for children and families for about 20 years, most recently prior to that i also ran the jail health services in the seventies, eighties and nineties and worked in the san francisco health department. our group is called taxpayers for public safety, an unusual name, but we are all retired and we are looking at issues as taxpayers and as people who know a lot about the system. a lot of our efforts have been focused on the adult jail system , and we are very successful a number of years ago and making sure that san francisco did not build an adult jail. the deal we are focused on is a bit overcrowded. we applaud you, and really are very encouraged by the move to move out of juvenile hall. we feel there is a domino that could happen by taking the overflow that needs to happen in the adult jail, potentially
moving it to 375 woodside and then the children, as you are talking about that are at 375 woodside that need treatment could then go to the community agencies appropriately. one of the appropriate community agencies is in fact, edgewood, the agency iran for many years. i have spoken to them on a number of occasions, and they are an expert mental health facility. if we are pushed to you and our encouragement to you is to look at the entire system of adult and juvenile justice system together, look at the facilities that are at our disposal already we have real estate at 850 bryant street that needs to shut , we have real estate at 375 woodstock, we've real estate and other areas. so we are going to present this package to you as supervisors in the next week, but i want -- >> thank you. next speaker.
>> can you show this, please. [indiscernible] >> supervisors, people here, we are going to close this place down. we gave it too many chances, and they committed sins against our children and crimes against our children that we have documented , going back many years. supervisors, i am a community advocate. i have a welder's foundation
prize of $25,000. they gave me an award, mayor lee gave me an award, senator dianne feinstein gave me an award, i am a fellow for the san francisco foundation. i am on the board of the health centre, district one mental health advisory board admission media art. i am an advocate. i'm a case manager, right now, supervisors, all the children that are in detention right now with all of their risk factors in their lives, all their suffering in their lives, and all their roadblocks in their lives, right now, children with the same m.o. are being treated in the community right now in a
nonprofit organization, the same children with the same issues that are sitting in juvenile hall could leave today and go to the community, we are there. we have culture relevant wraparound services, mental health, family therapy, jobs, you name it. we love our people. that is what this is about. we love our people. the brothers who are at the juvenile hall, they are like family, they are from the hood, they are from the projects, they should be back in the community serving their people and not locked up with these kids. [indiscernible] >> thank you. [laughter] >> thank you.
next speaker, please. [applause] >> next speaker, please. >> leave it in the box in the corner and i will pick it up. thank you. [laughter] >> excuse me, thank you so much. thank you, supervisors for giving us this opportunity to speak on this legislation. my name is denise coleman and i'm from huckleberry youth program. i'm the director of youth justice, and they oversee the cart program which is san francisco's diversion for young people arrested, and we see a third of all young people arrested in san francisco.
the call for the closure of juvenile hall is backed up with research. akin to the reform 20 years ago, we are at a crossroads. new information on brain development, and research on the impact of confinement on our young people dictates the need to do something different. to provide the best possible outcomes for our youth, especially those impacted by the juvenile justice system. if you haven't read this article , you should. it is called transforming juvenile probation, a vision for getting it right. done by foundation that is nationally recognized for the work and the research and the alternatives to detention across the nation. and then in the words of martin luther king, we know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor. and must be demanded by the oppressed.
for years now, we have heard the word, wait. this wait has almost always meant never. we must come to see that justice too long delayed is justice denied. thank you. [applause] >> good afternoon, my name is reverend james smith and i'm the secretary for the san francisco branch of the naacp. thank you, supervisors for this opportunity. we at the naacp, we support that there should be better alternatives for the treatment of our youth that faced challenges, however, we would like to put it on record that we at the naacp were not contacted to regards in regards to the
changes of how we treat our youth in the juvenile justice system. here in san francisco, we are over 1,000 members strong and we represent all races, predominantly african-american, and we would like the opportunity to discuss this plan our questions where, and r., that without juvenile hall, would there be qualified staff and a space in the city to handle youth whose issues cannot be resolved, and in whom are the community, and will families be forced to travel far distances to visit children who judges deem it necessary to incarcerate and how can we be certain this will not lead to the reduction in funding for our youth? thank you. [applause]
>> my name is daniels. i am the coastal area director for the california and hawaii state conference of the naacp. i'm here to support the san francisco branch in this endeavour. the way this was put on the community was wrong. it has not been an opportunity for people to discuss it, to find out what is going on, it is just been laid on the community, and now it is being shipped down the community's throat without any proper proposal -- proposal. i saw mr. walton the other day when he made a presentation to the commission, and at the end of his presentation, he said i will leave it up to you, that is what he should have done at the beginning. i do think that there should be some changes, but in terms of closing the facility, that is wrong. there are some times where the only time i have known that
there have been individuals that have never seen doctors or been treating for anything until they happen to get caught up in the system. when you have decent people running the hall, and you have decent outcomes, and that is what is happening. so he has taken over and you have had better outcomes. things are changing. i inc. this facility needs to be repurposed. there are some people that need to be placed in a timeout until they can figure out which direction they go in. you have stated all the time that you didn't have a good experience in juvenile hall, well i don't know that. i know that the outcome, i see you here on the board of supervisors, so i don't know for sure whether or not juvenile hall did you a lot of good when you were incarcerated. i do believe that this is the wrong approach. repurposed thing is what we should do, and you should do it with the support of the community. thank you. [applause]
>> next speaker. >> good afternoon, supervisors. i am covering for my policy director director. my name is mildred, i am a parent organizer. as you know, we are a true leader of this legislation of clothing juveniles in the justice system. we're definitely aware that they abuse our children, especially our low income african-american, latino and pacific islanders, and the guy that spoke before, this is definitely in our communities where they are coming from. they are disrespected in their communities, they are abusing their communities and we know they are abused at the juvenile justice system. i work with the schools and i see my sons and his friends, they are struggling going in and out justice system because they can't make it in their school, they cannot get support on getting back into class because they are so pushed out because
they are choosing to be thugs and criminals, they are not given an opportunity in their communities, and not given an opportunity in their school to get support that they need to because everybody is looking at them as a lost cause. i'm telling you right now, our youth is not a lost cause. they deserve the opportunity to be treated better and to be respected, and when they are in the juvenile system, we do have the support that they need, we do have communities that will help them get to where they can be so they can be successful. shut down the juvenile justice system now. [applause]. >> thank you. >> good afternoon, supervisors. thank you for this opportunity. i will do my best to address two subpoint seven brought into question. the first is the necessity of san francisco-based community organizations involved in the
entire process. it is too easy and these bureaucratic settings, no offence intended, to place high-profile agencies that do good work, but do not work with youth in the juvenile justice system, or nonsan francisco-based agencies. so strongly encourage you to keep that portion of the legislation. the second is this is not a job performance issue. i have tremendous respect for many of the councilors, for many of the probation officers that i've had the honour to work with in the past. they are not all doing a bad job they are being asked to do the wrong job by an archaic system, with archaic laws and rules that was designed before we knew what we know now. imagine the resource they could be if they were allowed to utilize their skills, their relationships, everything they've developed in a truly rehabilitative, truly community-oriented setting.
the third point is the urgency of the timeline. i understand that has been called into question. one thing that tends to happen in these settings is without a timeline, the urgency disappears and processes like these tend to descend into quagmire. i would encourage you to keep all of those in. thank you. >> good afternoon, supervisors. i am a political organizer with the s.i.u. 10-1. you have heard from many of our passionate and committed members here. you will hear and have heard about why they support and care for our children. you will hear and have heard about how they invest in our young people with new and innovative interventions. you will hear and have heard about their passion and their ideas for juvenile justice reform. it is thanks to these authentic and experienced individuals in san francisco youth crime of
every type has plummeted to the lowest levels ever reliably recorded. better than anyone, they recognize the strength and weaknesses of our juvenile justice system and they are here because they understand that fully privatizing juvenile justice services is not the way to help our city's youth. let me be very clear. unless amended, this ordinance opens the doors to exactly this outcome. unless you amend the ordinance and ensure the juvenile rehabilitation work remains in the public sector, it can lead us to imitate the juvenile justice system from places like massachusetts and utah. the centre center on juvenile and criminal justice, executive director specifically, and these are very much privatized juvenile justice systems. to quote a commissioner, privatization in massachusetts introduced an essential element to the juvenile justice system
by regularly rebutting contracts and the spirit is maintained to ensure the develop mint of new and various approaches in battling juvenile crime. but the negative implement and plug -- implications are clear and well documented. thousands of our members work for nonprofits. you understand the financial challenges of living in the city and providing front-line direct services. but to replace public-sector staff and relegate them to service contract oversight -- [applause] >> hello. i work on behalf of home and advocates, i am a youth organizer. there was a black feminist imprisoned scholar that wrote the very nature of personalized immobility and fear. prisons allow society to be relived of the -- relieved of responsibility of thinking about the real issues affecting communities and prisoners from which prisoners are drawn in
such as per disproportionate rates. 5% of black youth make up san francisco, 50 -- 56% of the black youth make up arrests in san francisco. not only should be close juvenile hall, what we should give our communities and resources they need and the funding that they need in order to ensure they do not go to prison as well. our community needs to be invested in, schools, and mental health, the focus on black lives and hearing. i will read a history as well. thank you. >> good afternoon. i am a former board member of a nonprofit that has been involved with juvenile hall since 1950. we are one of the first nonprofits to get involved with trying to provide services both educational, community outreach, really working with all the partners i've known over the
decades, working with juvenile judges and probation officers, i've met many of the youth that have gone through this program, and i have some observations. i feel that there does need to be some change in this, but i just have -- i jotted down this one thought that comes to mind. our juvenile hall serves as such an important service for youth in crisis following arrest, and judges that i have known over the decades, they are really experts in determining the needs for extended detention. in absence of a comprehensive facility with the school, with medical and behavioural health, if we don't have that, it puts these vulnerable youth at risk, and i've seen what it was like before juvenile hall was built,
i remember bringing library books on a saturday to the youth in that awful, former detention center and i have seen how things are improving. i just really want everyone to visit the hall and really get to know these folks. they are working there. thank you. [applause] >> afternoon. i am the director of digital arts and technology at sunset youth services. and like other people have said, i think juvenile probation departments are doing, they are not doing a bad job, they are doing the wrong job. the question there for me is, it is about investment, i'm a youth worker, so i don't have a lot of money to invest. you are darn sure if i will invest money somewhere, i need to return on that investment. we are investing $300,000 a year to lock kids up. what is the return on that investment?
the return is young people are more likely to spend the rest of their lives in incarceration, then we are continuing to invest that money. when we're talking about public safety, i want to return -- i want a return on the investment. since youth services as a 90% nonrecidivism rate, there are opportunities, there are programs that work, and we think that this is an investment worth making. [please stand by]