7, 2015 / 5:15 p.m.
San Francisco's Chinese
New Year Parade
Street @ 2nd Street
of Programs Riker
K. Monico Klein
A Message from Sheriff
We continue our work by strengthening public safety in
the community and strengthening community in our jails. Bridging
our neighborhoods are the three pretrial diversion programs that
allow individuals, especially those who cannot afford bail, the
opportunity to remain with family, working, or for the homeless, to
receive intensive case management, while their case proceeds its
way through the criminal justice system. For those who are
ultimately released, the fewer ties that are broken, the fewer ties
that need re-connection. As more people with severe mental illness
cycle the criminal justice system, we must develop better programs
to divert them to an effective system of care.
In July, we began the Station Unit Transfer (STU) pilot project
with the SF Police Department, deploying Deputy Sheriffs to
transport and book arrestees at our Intake and Release Facility,
County Jail #1. This time, we studiously collected data on
operational and staffing mechanics, carefully compiling a
chronological and statistical file. This data validates the
conventional notion that this program saves money and keeps beat
officers on the street. Public safety is better and more
In January we celebrated the Five Keys Charter High
School graduation ceremonies. These diplomas and all the
accomplishment they embody are the result of innovative programming
combined with the commitment to: provide and accept opportunity,
give and receive hope, and create a positive community. While
incarceration is the intersection of so many wrongs in a person's
life, Five Keys Charter High School is the intersection of so much
that is restorative.
In both our men's and women's facilities, we
recognized Black History Month with special programs with readings
about famous African American leaders, community members speaking
about their challenges and triumphs, and shared the spoken word.
On behalf of the Sheriff's Department, staff and inmates, I want to
thank Dr. Joe Goldenson for his 28 years of dedicated service and
most recently as the Director of Jail Health Services. His
dedication and creativity greatly improved health care for
prisoners and established national standards for respectful and
compassionate healthcare. Prisoners have a constitutional right to
health care, but that is meaningless without the fine work of Dr.
Finally, we wish everyone happy and safe Lunar New Year celebrations.
Station Transfer Unit (STU) Pilot Proves Successful
In July 2014 the San
Sheriff's Department entered into a formal Letter of Agreement with
the San Francisco Police Department to conduct a six month pilot
project to assess the evidence-based effects of conducting a
limited station transfer operation. The pilot project
provided Sheriff's wagon services for two of the ten district
stations, Mission and Tenderloin, seven days a week, excluding
The unit for
the operation was comprised of supervisors and deputy sheriffs from
throughout the department and with the cooperation of Sheriffs'
Managers and Supervisors Association (MSA) and Deputy Sheriffs'
Association (DSA). In addition to capturing very specific data
on numbers of prisoners processed, refusals due to medical reasons,
days and times during which pickups were made, by station, we also
captured data on SFPD escorted prisoners to SFGH for medical
treatment prior to acceptance and booking into county jail and
other critical information for future use for potential budget
At the conclusion of the six month pilot, it came as
no surprise that SFSD performed at very efficient and safe
levels. In addition to capturing data on the busiest patterns
for prisoner pickups, we also tracked data on medical refusals both
at the district stations and at CJ#1. For the six month
period we transported 1453 prisoners.
significance of these data points will be seen should we move
forward with a budget request that includes hospital transports for
the SFPD. This information had not previously been captured
and will be very important during any future budget negotiations
for resources to continue STU. Finally, a huge note of
gratitude to the deputy sheriffs and supervisors who made this
pilot so successful. Due to these efforts, the SFSD once
again demonstrated why we are an integral part of the public
safety team in San Francisco.
SF Examiner Article from
July 2014 for more information about the pilot project.
African American History Month in the San Francisco
Black History Month, also known as
African American History Month, has been an annual observance
celebrated each February in the United States since 1976. It is
acknowledged by the San Francisco Sheriff's Department with a
variety of special programs and presentations. This year the
following activities took place:
The Sisters in Sober Treatment Empowered in Recovery (SISTERS) Program at CJ 2
honored Black History Month by inviting community members to speak
with the women about their struggles, successes, and poetry. Every
afternoon in February, clients honored a different African American
leader by reading highlights of their lives out loud to the SISTERS
community. Program partner Healthright360 provided a special meal
in the pod at the end of February.
A Five Keys Charter School Case Manager worked with
the women in the Life Skills class in CJ 2's E Pod to write
and perform a special program called "Freedom Train." The
case manager lined up additional speakers, including Sheriff's
Department's Rehabilitation Services Coordinators, and a Deputy
The Roads to Recovery Program at CJ 5 in San
Bruno honored Black History Month with motivational guest
speakers from the community coming into the jail to talk about
their struggles, successes, and poetry. Every day of February
during morning meetings there were cultural readings covering
famous African American leaders from the past to the present.
Participants volunteered to share any spoken word on Fridays during
the month to express their thoughts on Black History.
Healthright360 provided a meal at the end of month in honor of
Black History Month. As a tradition, every year in honor of Black
History a program participant sings the Black National Anthem.
In Honor of Dr. Joe Goldenson
Dr. Joe Goldenson has retired from his position as
Director of Jail Health Services, the division of the Department of
Public Health responsible for providing healthcare to San
Francisco's most marginalized citizens, those who are incarcerated
in the San Francisco county jails.
Prisoners are among one of the only groups in this
country with a constitutional right to health care. In San
Francisco that right is embodied in the healthcare services the
Department of Public Health delivers to San Francisco county jail
prisoners through Jail Health Services.
Since the 1980s when public health assumed
responsibility for the healthcare of prisoners, Jail Health
Services has become known throughout the country as the model for
prisoner health care. The person most recently responsible for that
care is Joe Goldenson, MD who began working at Jail Health Services
28 years ago when Jail Health Services' first director, Nancy
Rubin, hired Joe Goldenson as an MD.
Joe Goldenson started at Jail Health Services first as
a doctor, then as Medical Director and then as Director of Jail
Health Services. During these 28 years, Joe Goldenson has worked
for the improvement of healthcare in incarcerated settings not only
in San Francisco but also throughout the country.
Joe Goldenson's innovations and efforts are reflected
in improved standards of care throughout the country. Those
protocols and policies Joe Goldenson has promoted have helped
establish a national standard for compassionate and respectful
Joe Goldenson's vision for a public health model for
care in jails and prisons has proven both creative and effective.
In addition to establishing a template for respectful prisoner
healthcare, Joe Goldenson has conducted his work with humor and
respect directed to both patients and staff.
On January 22, 2015, Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi had the
great honor of presiding over the San Francisco Sheriff
Department's (SFSD) Five Keys Charter High School graduation ceremonies. Two separate ceremonies were
held at the Hall of Justice.
In a morning ceremony, 21 inmate graduates walked
across the stage to accept their diplomas or certificates of
completion, while in the afternoon 31 community graduates accepted
their diplomas or certificates of completion. This year, Five Keys
Charter High School is one step closer to reaching its critical
goal of graduating 1,000 students since its inception in 2003.
Five Keys Charter High School is the first public
charter high school to operate in a county jail, infusing the
ideals of community, family, recovery, education and employment
into its school curriculum. Five Keys Charter High School's
positive impact has reached beyond the cement walls of our
facilities and is now embedded inside the Los Angeles County jail
system and operates 16 community centers throughout San Francisco.
In 2014, Five Keys received the Hart Vision Award at the annual
California Charter Schools Conference (CCSC) for its significant
contributions to the CCSC's mission to increase student
The SFSD Five Keys Charter High School graduation ceremonies are the result of joint innovative
community effort combined with the commitment to provide
opportunity, give hope and create a positive impact on the lives of
a unique group of attendees and their loved ones. "Where incarceration
is the intersection of so many wrongs in a person's life,
historically, within the U.S. prison and jail systems,
opportunities proved few in providing the ex-offender hope through
a working skill. However, those times are changing, as evidenced by
the durable reach of the San Francisco Sheriff Department's Five
Keys Charter School whose common sense approach to improving public
safety is by not letting incarcerated minds decay," stated
Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi.
San Francisco Sheriff's Department Pretrial Diversion
The San Francisco Sheriff's Department contracts with
SF Pretrial Diversion Project to operate three programs that
provide alternatives to pretrial incarceration. The intended
outcome of all three programs is minimizing risk to public safety,
while affording defendants the opportunity to reconnect with family
and community while meeting the requirements of the court.
OWN RECOGNIZANCE PROJECT
The purpose of the Own Recognizance (OR) Project is to
interview eligible in-custody defendants and present their cases to
a judicial officer for possible pre-arraignment release on their
own recognizance. A judicial officer reviews the OR packet which
consists of the interview, criminal history which is also
summarized and the arrest report, and determines if the defendant
should be released. If the judge grants release, the OR staff
informs the defendant of the conditions of their release. If the
judge denies OR or if the defendant is ineligible for
pre-arraignment OR release, the OR staff provide the defendant
information to the arraignment courts for possible release on court
OR or referral to Supervised Pretrial Release or Court Accountable
SUPERVISED PRETRIAL RELEASE
Supervised Pretrial Release (SPR) is an alternative
for those who do not qualify for OR and cannot post bail. SPR is a
conditional release program in which eligible defendants are
released on their promise to abide by court orders with their
program participation closely supervised by staff.
COURT ACCOUNTABLE HOMELESS SERVICES
Court Accountable Homeless Services (CAHS) provides
the most intensive supervision on the continuum of pretrial
alternatives to incarceration. CAHS seeks to address chronic
homelessness and concurring court appearances through intensive
case management. Many of the homeless offenders exhibit a host of
issues that impede their ability to successfully navigate the
judicial system and must overcome a number of unique challenges
beyond homelessness. To that end, CAHS provides the court with an
effective and comprehensive pretrial release program for defendants
with poor appearance records.
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