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December 2013 - ISSUE 12
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Sr. Dep. C. Melbourne #765

31 years 

Sgt. J. Jones #2103
26 years
Congratulations on Your Promotion!
Lieutenant W. Kelleher
Lieutenant R. Deguzman 
  Sergeant L. Bui
Sergeant D. Gunn
Sergeant W. Weatherly


Welcome SFSD New Employees!
Storekeeper Minerva Chiprez
Cadet Price Kendall
Cadet Laneka Leatutufu
Cadet Ryan Mangundayao
Cadet Nathan Kinder 
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Contributing Writers: 
Vivian Imperiale
Sergeant R. Winters
Sergeant M. Kim
Lieutenant S. Colmenero
Captain M. Ideta
Captain E. James
Captain K. Paulson
Guest Contributor: Chris Cheng 
Chris Cheng  
Three Gun Safety Rules: Rule #2

Rule #2: ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.

When inspecting, loading, or unloading a firearm, always keep your finger off the trigger. This is to prevent an accidental discharge. A common place to rest your trigger finger is shown here:

Even if your firearm has a manual safety mechanism, it is a mechanical feature which could possibly fail, so don't be lulled into a false sense of security. Keeping your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot helps ensure you keep yourself and others safe.

Next month- Rule #3: ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.
Chris Cheng is a six-year San Francisco resident, and is History Channel's Top Shot Season 4 Champion. He worked at Google as a Program Manager for five years, and is now a professional marksman for Bass Pro Shops.
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İ 2013
San Francisco
Sheriff's Department
Information Technology & Support Services
Ross Mirkarimi
A Message from Sheriff  
Ross Mirkarimi

It's the season to celebrate family, honor holiday traditions, wish others well, give thanks for all we have, remember those who are gone, and pray for peace.  At this time of year, I am particularly aware of the children separated from parents by jail. More than half of the estimated 2.3 million inmates are parents of children under 18 years old. One study estimates that one of every 28 children has a parent in jail. These are mostly families coping with poverty, inadequate education and limited opportunities. 


It's the season for giving, and a recent column in the New York Times highlighted a scholarship program for the children of incarcerated parents where the donors are inmates. These are men and women with very little, giving generously to help break the cycle of poverty by giving up their few luxuries like toiletries or a candy bar. Through the generosity of many, we at the SFSD provide holiday toys for these children. But the gift of education and opportunity carries them beyond the momentary joy of unwrapping a special package to the ability to sustain a life for themselves and their (future) children. 


It's the season for hope, and music is full of hope. This month we highlight the Women's Choir Project, a partnership with California Lawyers for the Arts. A group of women inmates worked together for two hours twice a week with a vocal instructor practicing vocal arrangements, learning life skills and sharing the joy of singing. Their final concert was a joy to behold!   


It's the season for reflection, and this month we present a thoughtful piece written by a participant in our Community of Veterans Engaged in Restoration (COVER) writing program. To put pen to paper, or strokes to a keyboard, expressing disappointment and forgiveness is not easy. Our veterans are no strangers to courage and honor on the battlefield, but it takes a different kind of bravery to write honestly about such personal emotions. 


In closing, I want to recognize the star of our K-9 Unit--Tank -- who sniffs out explosives and performs bomb sweeps. Tank is a valuable member of the Sheriff's Department, providing important skills only dogs with such a finely-tuned sense of smell can offer.



Pet Pride 2013
In October 2013, Senior Deputy O'Neill attended the San Francisco Animal Care and Control Pet Pride Day 2013. He represented the San Francisco Sheriff's Department K-9 Unit. The event was held at Sharon Meadow in Golden Gate Park. There was a costume contest - for the pets, of course - and a variety of games.

Sr. Dep. O'Neill did a presentation with K-9 Tank to which the crowd was very receptive. Sr. Dep. O'Neill explained that Tank is trained in the detection of explosives and is used to perform bomb sweeps of the buildings under the jurisdiction of the Sheriff's Department. He also explained that he uses the positive reinforcement training technique when training dogs. Under this style of training, dogs are praised and given their toy when they perform positive behaviors and ignored when they perform negative behaviors. Positive reinforcement training is very popular among dog trainers.

A number of non-profit animal rescue groups and vendors were also at the event. Rescue opportunities included the standard cat and dog selections to pigeons and rabbits.  Vendors included everything from local animal hospitals to luxurious spa-like treatments for dogs.

During his K-9 presentation, Sr. Dep. O'Neill explained to the audience, "What most people tend to think of as a poor-choice for a family pet, law enforcement K-9 handlers desire. These are the extremely active dogs who chew anything and everything they can get their teeth on." K-9 handlers prefer these dogs because they have the drive and energy to work.

San Francisco Animal Care and Control presented Sr. Dep. O'Neill and K-9 Tank with a certificate for Serving and Protecting the Citizens on San Francisco.
The San Francisco Sheriff's Department would like to thank San Francisco Animal Care and Control for inviting us to Pet Pride Day 2013. It was an honor to participate in the event.  

Exodus: Inmate Women's Choir Project


In July of 2013, Sheriff's program coordinators Yolanda Robinson and George Jurand along with Captain E. James and Sgt. G. McCollough met with Ms. Alma Robinson and Ms. Laurie Brooks from the California Lawyers for the Arts. This organization primarily focuses on art projects for persons who are incarcerated in local and state correctional facilities throughout California. The organization proposed funding a 12-week project for women inmates in the San Francisco County Jail system that would focus on an art project of our choosing.

The group brainstormed on what project would benefit the women inmates and, at the same time, provide a pre- and post-evaluation process for the organization. A choir project was selected as it would bring the women together in a close setting, emphasizing the dynamic to work together to form a cohesive bond of not only a musical ensemble, but also strengthening self-confidence and self-esteem.

An audition session was scheduled for the incarcerated women. Even though the talent to sing was beneficial, it was not the driving element for selection. Staff reviewed the housing behavior of the women by checking with the deputies regularly assigned to the womens' pods.

Sixteen women were selected, and the project began on August 20, 2013. The schedule was for the women to come together twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays) for two hours each evening with vocal instructor, Ms. Emma Jean Foster, as well as with a program coordinator. The group worked on life skills (meditation, conflict resolution, anger management, women empowerment) while also practicing vocal arrangements. By the time the group was ready to perform, six women had been released from jail, leaving 10 available to perform.

A final choir performance was held on November 7, 2013. Family members of the women prisoners were allowed to attend, along with Sheriff's staff and the lawyers' group. This was the first time a choir project was held for women in a county jail facility in San Francisco. The 35 minute presentation was inspiring to see how the women pulled together despite their differences. Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi made a special appearance that highlighted the evening.

This project shows the great collaboration between Sheriff's sworn and civilian personnel, working together to reflect the uniqueness of the San Francisco county jail programs. A special thanks to all staff who worked on this and a big thank you to the California Lawyers for the Arts for funding the project. 

SFSD inFocus:
Community Programs -

Electronic Monitoring  


Part three of a series of articles that will serve to inform and educate the public on the San Francisco Sheriff's Department - Community Programs 


The San Francisco Sheriff's Department Electronic Monitoring Program is an alternative to traditional custodial confinement for sentenced and pre-sentenced inmates who meet the eligibility requirements. In this way, the returning citizen maintains the ability to work and communicate with the family and the community, while at the same time remaining under the supervision of the Sheriff's Department.

To be considered for electronic monitoring, current charges must meet eligibility criteria excluding certain violent and sexual offenses. Priority is given to candidates who have demonstrated active participation in Sheriff's programs while in custody. Participants are strongly encouraged to participate in the post-release programs conducted at 70 Oak Grove Street and the Women's Resource Center located at 930 Bryant Street, San Francisco. 
In some cases, additional services such as residential treatment and mental health referrals are incorporated into conditions of the program. For participants in the program, the release date will remain the same as if 
time were being served in custody, incorporating all available credits.
The Sheriff's Department works in cooperation with the Adult Probation Department, the District Attorney's Office, the Public Defender's Office and the Superior Court to create this alternative to incarceration.
In most cases participants wear an ankle bracelet that contains a global positioning device. This bracelet reports information to a central data center 24 hours a day, seven days a week, tracking all movement of the 
Although electronic monitoring is often referred to as Home Detention, this is a misnomer. The devices can be programmed to track curfews (remaining in an inclusion zone during specific periods of times) but also 
provide alerts for when the subject has entered an exclusion zone.
In addition to the ankle bracelet, secondary devices may be provided to offenders such as portable alcohol consumption screening or a trans-dermal alcohol monitor where the court mandates that the participant abstains from consuming alcohol as a condition of substance abuse treatment.
With our primary focus on public safety, we balance the needs of the community against the cost of incarceration and release as many people to electronic monitoring as is safe to do so within the criteria as allowed.
Additionally, Sheriff Mirkarimi has introduced legislation which will increase our ability to expand electronic monitoring pursuant to the provisions set forth in AB 109. 
Cuisine de County Jail


Many inquiries have been made in the area of inmate nutrition - and the real question everybody wants to know is - "What kind of quality meals do the inmates receive in the County Jail?"  
Are the meals fresh and healthy? Satisfactory and filling? What does the food even look or taste like? Although palates  vary by individual health, personal preference and upbringing, the following article will answer some of the above questions. 
The San Francisco Sheriff's Department, in conjunction with Aramark Food Services, has been working diligently with Jail Medical Services (JMS) and the Sheriff's Department consultant-dietitian to ensure that every meal meets the specifications of California's Title 15-Crime Prevention and Corrections Chapter 1, Article 4: Food Services.   
Nearly every type of allergy, lifestyle, religious, medical and pregnancy diet imaginable can be prepared by Aramark. 
The meals that are served to the inmate population have approximately 2500 calories per day, a moderate sodium level and a reduced fat level (less than 30% of calories from fat).  Aramark serves an average of 3750 meals a day, operating two kitchens within the County Jails.   
Community of Veterans Engaged in Restoration (COVER)
COVER Inmates saluting Men and women of all ages returning home from serving our country in the armed forces deserve honor and respect. Unfortunately, many of them suffer from injuries we cannot see such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI). Increased awareness and research have resulted in additional resources for the men and women suffering from those unseen injuries.

In 2009, the San Francisco Sheriff's Department was one of the first departments to provide such services to incarcerated veterans through a multi-agency agreement. This program was called COVER, which stands for Community of Veterans Engaged in Restoration.
The COVER program includes educational, vocational, legal and therapeutic services modeled after the successful Resolve to Stop the Violence Program by incorporating victim restoration, offender accountability, and community restoration to work towards reducing recidivism and healing the harm caused by the experiences of war, crime and violence. 

COVER was officially launched in June 2010 with the mission to provide evidence-based mental health and substance abuse treatment and comprehensive reentry support and planning to veterans incarcerated in the San Francisco County Jail with the goals of reducing recidivism and improving public health and safety outcomes.

COVER provides veterans with the support of case managers and varied support groups and volunteers. The Veteran's Administration provides support with case managers and employment services. These individuals assist by answering questions about available VA services.

Recently, two events were enjoyed by the veterans in the COVER pod at CJ#5.  On November 7, a Veteran's Day celebration was held in the pod. Sheriff Mirkarimi addressed the group reflecting on his own military service, reminding the veterans of their accomplishments and perseverance, urging them to find that perseverance as they seek to change the direction of their lives.

Mr. Eduardo Ramirez, President of the Veteran Affairs Commission of San Francisco, reminded the veterans to use their skills as they work to re-enter the community.
Mr. Frank Williams, the Director of the Senior Ex-Offender Program gave a Spoken Word performance, and volunteers read selected poetry.

The second event was a Thanksgiving celebration held on November 21, 2013. A generous and outstanding meal was provided by Glide Memorial Church of San Francisco. Retired Colonel Dacumos provided ecumenical blessings before the meal was served.
The Three Words
from Johnny Ellis currently incarcerated in County Jail #5 in the COVER program


Dear Mother,


This isn't how it's supposed to end. The scenario is abstract. It's partly cloudy, dark skies of dark days. You headed to your final resting place, me headed to prison. You are my Mother, but you'll never be my Mama. The three words missed your tongue. It seems that the three words were drenched in melancholy, manufactured in a perpetual hell. You never said them, or showed it. I'm sorry Mother, I wasn't a good son for you to have on display - to be "picture perfect" for the whole world to see. I'm sorry, my soul is tortured - you heart is hardened by the pain of loneliness. This isn't how it's supposed to end. I'm supposed to be comforting you in your golden years, not being separated by razor wire and prison walls. Instead Mother like many others I became a staggering statistic. I became a dreg of society. I was afraid and alone. I became a slave to a delusional dream that did not exist. I became a slave to drugs, a slave to black/white crime and violence. A slave to self-hatred paralyzed within a social vacuum of destruction. I gravitated towards criminality not out of aspiration, but out of desperation - to survive the monstrous inequities that showed no mercy to the young and old. Aggression, I was to learn later in Uncle Sam's Army served as a poor man's merit for manhood. This isn't how it's supposed to end. Naw, the three words have seemed to miss my tongue also. I forgave you a long time ago Mother - for everything. I've moved on with my life. You always be my Mother, but you'll never be my Mama.


Your son,


İ 2013 San Francisco Sheriff's Department 
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