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January-February 2017 - ISSUES 48-49
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to Our Retirees:
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Capt. K. Ferrigno
25 years

Capt. E. James
27 years

Lt. B. O'Callaghan
33 years 

Sr. Dep. R. Trevizo
24 years

Dep. J. Arita
29 years

Dep. E. Camacho
27 years

Dep. I. Causapin
21 years

Dep. L. Fields
23 years

Dep. R. Gonzalez
17 years

Dep. D. Ortiz
21 years

Lt. R. Ridgeway
23 years


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© 2017
San Francisco
Sheriff's Department
A Message from Sheriff 
Vicki Hennessy

Welcome to the January-February 2017 Sheriff's Department newsletter.

Providing safe housing and programming for transgender, gender variant and intersex (TGI) inmates presents many complex issues that require careful planning and thoughtful implementation. I am committed to implementing Standards 115.42(c) and 115.42(e), which are set forth in the Bureau of Justice Administration, National PREA (Prison Rape Elimination Act) Resource Center's PREA Compliance Measures Handbook. Here's an update on what's been going on with our progress in classifying TGI inmates.

When I took office in January 2016, most TGI inmates were housed in County Jail #4, where they received few programs and were taunted by other inmates. I moved the TGI inmates to A-Pod in County Jail #2, which is managed by Five Keys Charter School. This provides them with their own housing unit, including a shower segregated from the men's housing, and having the benefit of more light, air and freedom of movement than they had at County Jail #4.

Program offerings for TGI inmates have improved considerably since the move to County Jail #2. Classes and workshops for all inmates change with the Five Keys Charter School curriculum and with availability of providers, but at this time, TGI inmates can take a coding class, as well as attend support groups and workshops in job search, resume writing and computer skills. Transwomen who don't have a high school diploma also now attend Five Keys Charter School. They also have yoga classes and participate in the SPCA's Animal Assisted Therapy program.

The move to County Jail #2, however, is only an intermediate step. My ultimate goal is to consider gender identity, among other classification criteria, for all inmates on a case-by-case basis, and safely house TGI inmates according to the gender to which they identify.

On March 1, we will start using a new field arrest card that was developed with the San Francisco Police Department that includes space to document a person's gender identity, preferred name and by what gender of staff person they wish to be searched. We are working with the Police Department to make sure our two agencies develop consistent policies, so the transmission of information in booking documents is seamless from the point of arrest through the booking process.

Jail classification processes are also changing. Every inmate who remains in our custody for 72 hours is classified using several factors, such as current charge, criminal history, criminal sophistication, and medical and/or psychiatric needs to determine the safest, most appropriate housing. We are currently developing a policy that will consider gender identity in each classification review and housing decision.

Staff will be trained and introduced to new expectations regarding searches, consistent with PREA Standards on cross-gender searches. Implementing this policy constitutes a change in working conditions and requires that we meet and confer with both the Deputy Sheriffs' Association and the Managers and Supervisors Association. Meanwhile, we have developed and implemented Gender Awareness training for all staff.  I also issued a training bulletin and memo to all personnel, making my intention clear and encouraging voluntary compliance until the new policy is finalized. In looking ahead to making new housing assignments, we need to make them on a case-by-case basis to ensure the safety of each person as we seek to honor their housing preference.

Back to the newsletter. This issue focuses on volunteerism and how Sheriff's Department employees give freely of their time. Yolanda Robinson, the Religious Services Coordinator, inspires inmates to get in touch with their spirituality. Bhavani Kludt wrote about how the yoga community has supported County Jail #5 through classes and donations. Lt. Quanico volunteers his time coaching, as he has done for the past 30 years. CFO Crispin Hollings, Sgt. D. Gunn and Lt. R. Winters all wrote about what volunteering means to them. Cadet M. Pastran sees volunteering as a "societal duty." Leslie Levitas wrote about the SPCA's Assisted Animal Therapy program that visits inmates at County Jails #2 and #4.

Yolanda Robinson Inspires Inmates to Get in Touch With Their Spirituality

Yolanda Robinson ministers to inmates in the San Francisco jails. 

Serving the Lord as well as others make up a big part of who Sheriff's Department Religious Services Coordinator Yolanda Robinson is. 

"I get to shout, pray and minister. It's what God has given me to do," she said. "I get to encourage and uplift people. It's exciting to see lives change."

She has worked with incarcerated men and women for more than 25 years. She started by serving in the prison ministry at San Quentin State Prison through her church. When she worked as an ADA Specialist for the Milpitas Unified School District, she provided educational programs for inmates at the now-closed Program Facility at the San Bruno campus. Additionally, as the In-Custody Jails Director for the Northern California Service League, she made available resources and services to San Francisco inmates. She also has worked as a social worker for the Public Defender's Office in its Children of Incarcerated Parents program. In her role at the Sheriff's Department, she oversees religious services for incarcerated men and women in San Francisco. She has been in her current position for five years. 

Robinson is responsible for bringing spiritual guidance to San Francisco inmates. That ranges from Bible study and spiritual support to grief counseling when inmates lose loved ones on the outside. She also holds various events for the inmates, including holiday concerts, Thanksgiving dinners at the jails, men's and women's conferences, baptisms, and movie nights, which is an evening of films, praise and popcorn. She even provides holiday gifts to children visiting family at the jail in December. 

She said there is no focus on one religion and she brings in guest speakers from different beliefs. "I encourage people through the different denominations of faith," she said. 

Robinson also created Prayer at the Gate, an interfaith support system for family members visiting inmates at the jail. She said this came about from a conversation she had at a church. "I met a mom whose son had been in jail," she said. "The woman said, 'I wish there had been someone to support me.'"

Since then, on every second and fourth Saturday of the month Robinson and representatives from up to 15 faiths show up at the County Jail #5 gate with a sign that says "Need Prayer?" They then pray with the families. 

Her coworkers are a big help with the Prayer at the Gate as well as the other events by volunteering their time. Delia Ginorio, the Survivor Restoration Program Director, generously donates snacks for the children on a regular basis. Also, The Garden Project founder Cathrine Sneed gives out pumpkins to the visitors every October. 
"It's about ministering to the families," Robinson said. "We invite people to have snacks and pray with us. One time at the gate, though, we asked a 7-year-old girl if she wanted any snacks. She replied, 'I don't want snacks; I want prayer for my daddy.' There wasn't a dry eye that day!"

Robinson said every February, she plans out the year's events, and that she loves every aspect of her job. "It's great to see people change," she said. "I play a small part but it's a part that they remember. Every day I'm grateful that I am the Religious Services Coordinator here. This is what I was meant to do. And I have a great team!"

Prayer at the Gate. 

Yoga Community Supports 
County Jail #5 

By Bhavani Kludt 

"Begin to bring your awareness inwards, to your breath. Notice how your breath feels, and where it is in your body. Now, relax your jaw, and allow your tongue to rest on the roof of your mouth. Relax the space between the eyebrows."

Is this your local "hot yoga" practitioner? No, it's just a Tuesday night at County Jail #5. 

Since 2000, a dedicated team of eight yoga teachers has offered yoga/meditation classes to men in Resolve to Stop the Violence Project (RSVP), Community of Veterans Engaged in Restoration veterans, and workers housing units. The program began as a way for inmates to find new ways to cope with difficult feelings after challenging survivor impact sessions in RSVP and has since expanded throughout the system. Survivor impact is an intense component of RSVP during which a survivor of violence shares his or her experience and the impact it had on his or her life. The inmates then process it by sharing the violence they experienced and committed and how it affected them and their victims. 

The yoga program operates under contractor Community Works, but is self-sufficient, said Executive Director Ruth Morgan. "Each year we get a grant from Yoga Dana Foundation, which is a yoga-supporting foundation, and the teachers reach out to the yoga community for whatever they need."

Program manager Bhavani Kludt said, "Our new teacher Deanne created a promotional flier describing our class and our need for new equipment. She set out a donation box at her Being Yoga studio requesting contributions for this cause. Her yoga community donated a little over $1,000. Deanne then approached yoga equipment supplier Manduka and received deep discounts. We are now enjoying the use of 30 new mats, 20 new cushions, and four gallons of mat wash cleanser!"

The generosity of the yoga community also extends to volunteerism. "Jail Psychiatric Services asked if I could find a yoga teacher to offer a class to the high functioning men in their care," Kludt said. "I reached out to teachers from the Integral Yoga Institute. Two teachers immediately responded. Anjali had her first class on November 16. We hope the second volunteer, Muktidevi, will soon start a second class."

Weighing in for sworn staff, Facility Commander Capt. Kevin Paulson said, "I have seen what a calming effect yoga has on the men who participate. I think that yoga is a great tool to get people to a place where they can reflect on what brought them here and what they are going to do differently in the future. Yoga for all!"

Bhavani Kludt is a Yoga/Meditation Coordinator and Survivor Impact Facilitator with Community Works West. 
Lt. Quanico Gives Back 
Through Coaching 

Lt. Quanico at football practice. 

Lt. Quanico after winning the Jam On It championship in Las Vegas in 2016.
Volunteering is something Lt. J. Quanico 
has done for a long time. He first began serving as a volunteer coach 30 years ago while he was in high school. He initially donated his time because his school required community service hours and he met that obligation by teaching sports. He was an athlete in high school, competing in basketball, football, track and baseball, and said his first mentors were his coaches, which influenced his decision to choose athletics for his volunteer activity. "I started volunteering my senior year in high school coaching at my grammar school," he said. "I haven't stopped since."

Since then, Lt. Quanico has coached Pop Warner football in Pacifica and boys' and girls' basketball at the school and American Amateur Union (AAU) competition levels. He also is the head coach for junior varsity and assistant coach for varsity high school girls' basketball programs. Additionally, he previously coached track. 

As a coach, Lt. Quanico has won six Catholic Youth Organization Division I championships and two Jam On It AAU Championships in basketball, 2016 Best in the West Pop Warner Championship in 2016 and was the Best in the West runner-up in 2015.

Lt. Quanico said part of the reason he coaches is out of a love for sports, but he enjoys teaching children core values such as hard work, dedication, courage and discipline. "All of my teams have a trademark culture: 'family first' and 'never quit,'" he said. 

He added that volunteering, whether it be in athletics or anything else, is a great way to achieve work-life balance. "I highly recommend to all my colleagues to find other hobbies or activities after work."

He said that before he retires, he'd like to implement a youth sports program at the Sheriff's Department, similar to the San Francisco Police Department's Police Athletic League and the San Francisco Fire Department's FLAME youth athletic program

There is a personal side to volunteering for Lt. Quanico as well - cultivating the relationships he has with his three sons. "It was a way for me to be a father and a role model," he said. 

Lt. Quanico does have one tough critic - his wife. "My wife has supported my coaching from day one," he said. "It helps that she is a complete fanatic when it comes to sports. She is always criticizing my strategies. It's tough hearing it from her, but she is usually pretty accurate."

Crispin Hollings Speaks on the 
Value of Volunteering 
Crispin Hollings

By Crispin Hollings

Volunteering is important in my life. I have found that it benefits me as much as my efforts benefit the community. 

It has helped me create community as my experiences have brought me together with others with a similar goal or passion. My time has generally been focused on labor and LGBT community organizing, whether it be participating in legislative or electoral politics, building faith community, or working to preserve community space in my neighborhood. And in my experience, I have found that the broad spectrum of volunteers who come together for a cause make things happen that no one could accomplish alone. 

One volunteer opportunity that I found especially rewarding was being part of an effort to save a public institution in my neighborhood, the Castro Country Club (CCC). The name of this institution is misleading. For over 30 years, it had been a well-loved, heavily utilized but run-down, dilapidated sober community space in the Castro neighborhood of San Francisco. The CCC is open to anybody who walks through the doors, and is a place where people gather, whether for 12-step meetings or one-on-one fellowship, to support each other in sobriety. In 2009, the club was threatened with eviction after the building owner died. The community came together to secure a long-term lease with the new owner, establish a structure for community governance, and create a business model that supports the club financially. The doors to the CCC remain open today with hundreds of people passing through daily. 

While my volunteer efforts helped keep the CCC open, more profoundly, my efforts gave me an opportunity to be part of something bigger than myself. Knowing that I was involved in making a positive contribution to my community was an emotionally uplifting experience. This, and other volunteer gigs, also helped me learn subjects that were previously unknown to me, such as negotiating a lease or building a cafe. 

Volunteering has been rewarding for me. I like to think that it has brought some small benefit to the world. I know without a doubt that it has helped me to build a path on which to trudge the road of happy destiny. 

Crispin Hollings is the CFO of the Sheriff's Department. 
Sgt. Gunn: 'Serve Others and Do Good' 

By Sgt. D. Gunn

Sgt. Gunn 

Aristotle was once quoted saying that the essence of life is "to serve others and do good." I think that is true. Volunteering is important to me. My parents, who both spent a lot of time volunteering or working for nonprofits when I was growing up, passed on the volunteering spirit to me.  

Volunteering helps keep me grounded, focused and cognizant of the fact that there are many who through no fault of their own need some help or support. 

For instance, one group I have volunteered for since its inception is the Parents Education Network (PEN). I was first made aware of the organization because of family members who have learning differences/disabilities. PEN's mission is to empower students, parents and educators to find solutions for all those who learn differently and redefine what "normal" is. What this group has accomplished in 13 short years is amazing. While my part in the organization is small, it has been rewarding to see this group go from meeting in someone's living room to renting out AT&T Park for our annual conference. 

I urge all reading this to find a passion or issue that is meaningful to you and reach out to those organizations trying to make a difference. Your contribution, however slight, can reap psychic and karmic rewards beyond measure. There is one caveat. A key to deriving those benefits is to do it for the right reasons. A 2012 study in the journal Health Psychology found that participants who volunteered with some regularity lived longer, but only if their intentions were truly altruistic. Do it because you want to, not because it will look good or just make you feel better. 
Volunteering Is Another Way of Serving Your Communities, Lt. Winters Says 

By Lt. R. Winters

Lt. Winters with his son Enric at the 5K Fun Run. Lt. Winters is holding the Special Olympics torch. 
When most people think of law enforcement, they think of law and order. However, there is another side to law enforcement officers that isn't talked about that often: volunteering. In our volunteer activities, we are at elementary schools reading to the students or talking about our careers. We visit high schools to work with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) in its "Every 15 Minutes" presentations. We attend the Special Olympics events and give medals to the athletes. We participate in runs and bike rides to raise funds and awareness for a variety of causes. During the winter holiday, we collect toys. 

My volunteer work includes working with MADD and the Special Olympics. With MADD, I help organize the annual walk every October in San Francisco and I attend events throughout the year where we remember victims and support survivors of drunk driving. For the Special Olympics, I chair the 5K Fun Run Committee that is held in conjunction with the annual San Francisco Polar Plunge. I also attend various Special Olympic Games around the Bay Area. Additionally, I am involved in my son's Cub Scout Pack where I help organize campouts, hikes and other events for the Scouts. 

These events often occur when we are off-duty and looking forward to spending some quality time with family and friends. But we make the extra effort to visit a school or hang out with kids who do not have the same opportunities as their peers, whether they face physical or mental challenges, socioeconomic disadvantages or long-term hospitalization. 

We chose this job to serve our community. Protecting the law-abiding people of our community is our primary mission, but flipping the coin over and volunteering in our communities is another motivating factor for us. It's great to walk into a classroom and hear a group of kids ask you questions at the same time. It's exciting to see the smile that lights up a Special Olympics athlete's face when you put the medal around his or her neck. There is nothing better than the satisfaction of knowing you brought hope and joy to someone's life.  
Cadet Pastran Sees Volunteering
 as a 'Societal Duty' 

Cadet Pastran 

Once a Girl Scout, always a Girl Scout. 

Sheriff's Cadet M. Pastran freely gives her time to several organizations and volunteering is a way of life for her. She said the biggest influences as to why she volunteers are her mother and being a Girl Scout. "When I was little, my mom always volunteered," she said. "And I've been a Girl Scout since third grade. That's why I always volunteered. I felt like I had to be involved. Volunteering is such a habit, a way of doing things." 

She performed volunteer work as a Girl Scout, and has continued to donate time into adulthood. Her high school even offered a class in community service. Pastran does a lot of volunteering with the Bay Area Deputy Sheriffs' Charitable Foundation, where she is also a board member. Through the Foundation, she contributes by collecting and giving away backpacks, buying school supplies for teachers, and participating in the "Shop with a Deputy Sheriff" event during the winter holidays. Her roles vary from collecting the school supplies and distributing them to discussing partnership opportunities with other nonprofit organizations.

She also takes the time to volunteer with the San Francisco Police Department's Special Victims Unit with the Human Trafficking Division as a transcriber of victim interviews. She started there as an intern while she earned her degree but continued to volunteer after the internship ended. Pastran received her bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administration from California State University, East Bay, and her master's in public administration from Notre Dame de Namur in Belmont. 
She also raises funds for the Lupus Foundation of America in honor of her friend's sister, who died from the disease. Additionally, she is the shop steward in her union and advocates for cadets. In all of her volunteer activities, she makes sure to donate her time at least twice a week, often more. "I feel like it's a societal and civic duty to give back to your community," she said. 

Pastran suggests that people interested in volunteering should start by deciding what their interests are. "Find something you're really interested in, passionate about," she said. "Just go out there and do it."
Assisted Animal Therapy Program Brings Joy to County Jail #2 Inmates 

AAT program's Owen Meany.
By Leslie Levitas

On a cold and rainy January night, a Papillon dog named Owen Meany and his owner, Steven, provided some warmth at County Jail #2.  Owen and Steven are members of the Assisted Animal Therapy (AAT) program of the San Francisco SPCA, which has been partnering with the Sheriff's Department for more than a year.

The AAT program facilitates communication, healing and motivation by sharing the love of companion animals with others, many of whom face mental, physical or educational challenges.  According to the SPCA, 275 volunteer AAT teams visit throughout San Francisco to share the human companion-animal bond with more than 80,000 people annually.

The Sheriff's Department began its partnership with the SPCA in 2015 at County Jail #5 and, based on early success, has expanded over the past year to include AAT visits at County Jails #2 and #4.  The visits are seen to complement recovery and rehabilitation efforts.  Owen and Steven are among a number of volunteer teams that serve the jails.  These teams help inmates work toward therapeutic goals in conjunction with Sheriff's Department program staff.

In addition to the jails, the AAT volunteer teams go to hospitals, nursing homes, senior centers, psychiatric facilities, developmentally disabled centers, convalescent homes and youth facilities. It has been shown that animal therapy can help reduce depression, anxiety, and stress, lower one's heart rate and blood pressure, heighten motivation, improve self-esteem, and increase the desire to communicate.

The women at County Jail #2 who participated in the AAT program seemed to change in the presence of the volunteers.  That wet January night, their demeanors softened as they shared stories and pictures of their own pets. It was also a happy time for Owen.  As Steven said, "He likes to come here because he gets to run around a bit and play, not like at the hospital," where they also volunteer. Since the temperament of a Papillon is happy, friendly and adventurous without being aggressive, Owen and Steven make an ideal team. Participants at County Jail #2 can look forward to continued visits from them and other animal teams over the coming year and beyond.

Leslie Levitas is a Principal Administrative Analyst for the Sheriff's Department's Administration and Programs Division. 

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