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November 2015 - ISSUE 34
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© 2015
San Francisco
Sheriff's Department
Ross Mirkarimi
A Message from Sheriff  
Ross Mirkarimi

We entered this month of thanksgiving with a citywide summit on the health and social service needs of our elder inmates. We convened this meeting in partnership with the UCSF Division of Geriatrics, the SF Department of Public Health, HealthRight 360, and Bayview Hunters Point Multipurpose Senior Services, acknowledging that older adults are the most rapidly increasing population in jails across the country. This project actually began in 2010, when we worked with UCSF and Jail Behavioral Health and Reentry Services to study the healthcare utilization of our older inmates.
This month, we observed Veterans Day with our Community of Veterans Engaged in Restoration (COVER), a program designed in conjunction with Swords to Plowshares for veterans of all the branches of the United States military. The COVER program provides veterans, regardless of their character of discharge, with an opportunity to address obstacles to their successful reintegration into their families and communities after military service through in-jail and post release case management services, and links to supporting agencies. This year, we remembered the 50th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War with art and poetry created by our inmate veterans and a keynote speech discussing some of the hardships faced by soldiers returning from Vietnam.   
Continuing SFSD and local law enforcement's generous tradition of community service, the Filipino-American Law Enforcement Officers Association (FALEO) hosted their 4th Annual Charity Duty Pistol Match. The competition challenges participants' accuracy, speed, and ability to shoot on the move, offering categories for both novice and experienced marksmen. The event honors fallen officers and raises funds for FALEO's scholarship program.
The Women's Resource Center (WRC) and the rest of the SFSD said good-bye to Vera Pittman, a dear friend who spent the last five years teaching nutrition, sharing cooking tips and hosting a weekly community breakfast as part of our Next Course Program. Transitioning from participant to mentor, Ms. Pittman brought a high level of respect and empathy for the women in the WRC. She will be missed.
Our policies and programs designed to reduce recidivism are working, the jail population continues to decline, currently averaging at 1,300. This will be an important consideration as the community continues the discussion of building a replacement jail at the Hall of Justice. The Board of State and Community Corrections awarded San Francisco an $80 million grant. This is only a third of the estimated $240 million required to build the facility. There should be a robust community discussion as the City considers whether to build a new jail.
This week, as we gather with families and friends to share what is good in our lives, let's remember the men and women who serve and sacrifice for our country, the men and women growing old in our jails, and all the families separated by wars and oceans.
And of course, as we gather this week to give of our collective "thanks," I want to wish you and your loved ones a wonderful Thanksgiving! 

First Citywide Summit on Health Needs for Older Adult Inmates

Older adults are the most rapidly growing population in the United States' criminal justice system.
The SFSD, in partnership with the UC San
Francisco (UCSF) Division of Geriatrics , HealthRIGHT 360, and Bayview Hunters Point Multipurpose Senior Services, Inc. on October 29, 2015 convened San Francisco's first citywide summit addressing the health and social service needs of the City's adult incarcerated population aged fifty-five and older. Older adults are the most rapidly growing population in the United States' criminal justice system.
"Based on changing demographics, our prisons and jails of the future will likely double as assisted-living compounds and psychiatric hospitals that connote new challenges for preparing communities to receive the formerly incarcerated," said Sheriff Mirkarimi.
Work presented during the October Senior Summit began in 2010, when the SFSD joined forces with the UCSF Division of Geriatrics and the City's Jail Behavioral Health and Reentry Services to research the needs of San Francisco's older inmates. At that time, little was known about the population and the departments were concerned that older inmates, with increasingly complex health needs, were in physically poor health and were potentially ill when transitioning back into their communities.
Findings from a recent study on 100 seniors in the county jails - who were monitored for six months for changes in their health and their healthcare utilization - as well as highlights of community work on behalf of senior ex-offenders were presented during the summit. Participants were urged to join the next phase of work which is to mount a coordinated response to improving the health of older adults who interact with San Francisco's criminal justice system. A broad array of leaders from City agencies attended the proceedings, including representatives from public health, transportation, emergency room services, and adult aging services.
Aging + disability: friendly San Francisco. Better with Age. 10/31/15.
Grant for New Rehabilitation Detention Facility
The state has awarded San Francisco $80 million to replace aging jails at the Hall of Justice.
The City of San Francisco was this month awarded an $80 million grant by the Board of State and Community Corrections to replace old and seismically unsafe jails at the Hall of Justice with a new Rehabilitation Detention Facility (RDF). The monies are part of an estimated $240 million needed to build the RDF. The $80 million was authorized under Senate Bill 863 and a state bond program, and is conditional upon the City replacing antiquated county jail housing with an upgraded facility which helps to reduce recidivism while protecting public safety.
San Francisco's new jail proposal gets boost with $80M state grant. SF Examiner. 11/12/15.
California set to award $500 million to jails in 15 counties - Ventura County Star. News Archives USA. 11/12/15.
Veterans Day COVER Celebration

The SFSD in-custody Veterans Program, COVER (Community of Veterans Engaged in Restoration), a collaborative spearheaded in conjunction with Swords to Plowshares, held its fifth annual Veterans Day observance on November 10, 2015. 
Many COVER service providers attended to recognize our veterans' service to our country, including the Recovery Survival Network,SF SPCA's Paw's for Peace, and the Sr. Ex-Offenders Program. Also in attendance were staff from the V.A.'s Veterans Justice Outreach and Veterans Court, including Veterans Justice Court Judge, the Honorable Jeffery Ross, Court Deputy District Attorney, G. Mendez, probation officer, R. Clendenning, and Deputy Director of Swords-to-Plowshares, Dave Lopez. Representatives from the American Legion, AMVETS, San Francisco Veterans Lions Club, The V.A.'s newly developed domestic violence program (STAND DOWN), and the Bar Association of San Francisco were also in attendance.
Guest Speakers included Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi a U.S. Navy Reserve Veteran and Undersheriff Federico Rocha, a two tour Vietnam Veteran and U.S. Army Ranger. Our keynote speaker was Gerald Nicosia, Author of Home to War: a History of the Vietnam Veterans Movement, described by the Los Angeles Times as "more relevant than ever as a new generation of soldiers comes home -- this is the essential and authoritative history of American's Vietnam veterans and the hardships they faced." Both Veterans and non-veterans listened intensely as Gerald described some of the hardships Vietnam veterans faced on their return home.    
Art and poetry created by our veterans were woven throughout the program which was dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War. Our Pledge of Allegiance was led by a Marine Corps Veteran.

Ron Perez, COVER Coordinator and the Master of Ceremonies, ended the program with a special poem dedicated to our Vietnam veterans.
FALEO Annual Duty Pistol Match
The sold out pistol match drew 67 participants including deputy sheriffs, police officers, state parole agents, and local probation officers.
On November 7, 2015, the Filipino-American Law Enforcement Officers Association (FALEO) hosted its 4th Annual Charity Duty Pistol Match at the Alameda County Sheriff's Range and Training Facility in Dublin, CA. This event was established in memory of fallen San Francisco police officers Nick Tomasito-Birco and Bryan Tuvera who were killed in the line of duty.
The sold out event drew an overwhelming sixty-seven participants consisting of deputy sheriffs, police officers, state parole agents, and local probation officers. Deputies E. Espinoza (Range), W. James (Classifications Unit), P. Lau (CJ#4), and C. Robles (Civil Courts) represented the SFSD. Law enforcement officers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond attended the fundraiser.
There were two separate shooting classes: the "Sportsman Class" consisted of shooters who had competed in shooting competitions, and the "Duty Class" consisted of novice pistol shooters or tactical shooters who do not compete competitively. The prize for the Sportsman Class was a Samsung tablet and the prize for the Duty Class was a GLOCK 43.
There were a total of five stages for individual shooting that included shooting at paper, steel, and clay targets. This year's event also included the use of shotguns and AR-15 carbine rifles. The match challenged each individual based on accuracy, speed, the ability to shoot while on the move, and the ability to shoot from behind the use of "cover."
SFSD's Deputy E. Espinoza and his group (J. Emanuel of the SFPD, T. Pashoian of BART PD, and J. Reed of the Alameda County Sheriff's Department) won the Duty Class team event!
FALEO thanks the following for their support: LC Action Police Supply, Triple A's Sports, LPS Tactical, GLOCK Inc., Battlecomp Enterprises, Disneyland, San Francisco Police Credit Union, FARMERS Insurance, and Outback Steakhouse.
All funds raised will benefit FALEO's scholarship program.

Shining Light
Vera Pittman, pictured center right in white shirt and black pants, worked for five years on WRC's Next Course Program.
The SFSD family bids a very fond farewell to the Women's Resource Center (WRC)'s Vera Pittman, who for the past five years has worked enthusiastically and graciously on WRC's Next Course Program, teaching nutrition, sharing cooking tips with clients, putting on a weekly community breakfast, and filling every need, as WRC Executive Director Ida McCray puts it, "from cook to recruiter."
Ms. Pittman began her association with WRC as a participant and eventually transitioned to working for the agency -- and bringing with her a first-hand knowledge of a population which she knows a lot about.
"A jewel in a rough place," is how Ms. Pittman lovingly refers to the WRC, where she says she most enjoyed talking to and connecting with the women who found help there, and above all "treating people with unconditional regard."
Vera's last day at WRC was October 29, 2015. Her parting hope is that more women are encouraged to take advantage of its "extremely helpful" services. You've left your mark, Vera - and you will be sorely missed.

SFSD Around Town
The SFSD's Mounted Unit was riding high on November 8, 2015, during this year's Veterans Day Parade - seen here at Fisherman's Wharf. Sheriff Mirkarimi, a veteran of the U.S. Navy Reserve, proudly participated in the parade as well.

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