DATE: April 21, 2015
TO: Board of Supervisors
SUBJECT: JUVENILE JUSTICE: ADVANCING THE COMPREHENSIVE STRATEGY FOR YOUTH, FAMILY, AND THE COMMUNITY (DISTRICTS: ALL)
Juvenile crime is at the lowest point in decades, resulting in a considerable decline in juvenile arrests and juveniles on probation in recent years.
Due to the significant downtrend in juvenile delinquency, and consequently the reduction of youth under County supervision and in custody, it is an opportune time to reassess the spectrum of juvenile justice services that make up the County of San Diego’s Comprehensive Strategy for Youth, Family and the Community. As County staff contemplates related adjustments to juvenile probation facilities, it is incumbent upon this board to set policy to redirect cost savings back into the juvenile justice system.
Today’s actions would direct the Chief Administrative Officer to determine whether a portion of cost savings related to this downward trend may be redirected toward strengthening the continuum of services that make up the County Comprehensive Strategy for Youth, Family and the Community.
SUPERVISOR GREG COX AND SUPERVISOR RON ROBERTS
1) Direct the Chief Administrative Officer to determine whether a portion of cost savings related to the significant downward trend of juvenile crime and incarceration of youth may be redirected toward strengthening the continuum of services that make up the County Comprehensive Strategy for Youth, Family and the Community.
2) Direct the Chief Administrative Officer to conduct an inventory of County funded juvenile justice services working with County departments, the District Attorney’s office, Juvenile Justice Comprehensive Strategy Task Force, Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council and community stakeholders to establish a guiding document for future program decisions and recommend services that can be expanded or created to help ensure that the down trend of juveniles entering or re-entering the juvenile justice system continues.
3) Direct the Chief Administrative Officer to return to the Board of Supervisors within 120 days with a report on the recommended juvenile justice funding priorities.
4) Direct the Chief Administrative Officer to develop recommendations for the Board of Supervisors to amend Board Policy A-92 to include reference to history, goals and objectives of the County’s Comprehensive Strategy for Youth, Family and the Community.
There is no fiscal impact associated with this action. Following the Chief Administrative Officer’s (CAO) review, recommendations regarding actions in support of the County Comprehensive Strategy for Youth, Family and the Community may be included in the Fiscal Year 2015-17 CAO Recommended Operational Plan.
Business Impact Statement
Advisory Board Statement
The Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council and the Juvenile Justice Comprehensive Strategy Task Force provide recommendations and updates to the Board of Supervisors on the Comprehensive Strategy for Youth, Family and the Community. Input received from these bodies will be incorporated in the recommendations.
Countywide arrests of San Diego youth have declined from 17,409 in 2009 to 8,556 in 2013, a 51 percent reduction. As such, fewer youth are being detained in juvenile facilities. There was a 50 percent reduction of youth on probation from nearly 5,100 at the end of 2009 to 2,467 as of December 2014. This downward trend continues as evidenced by the number of youth detained in juvenile institutions, which dropped from a daily average of 842 a day in 2009 to a new average of 450 in 2015. The significant decrease is attributed in part to the long-term success of San Diego County’s Comprehensive Strategy for Youth, Family and the Community.
Implementation of the Comprehensive Strategy dates back to the early 1990s. The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) selected the County of San Diego as a pilot site for technical assistance to create and implement a new strategy, known as the Comprehensive Strategy for Serious, Violent, and Chronic Juvenile Offenders, or simply as the Comprehensive Strategy. Included in this effort was the development of a region-wide partnership made up of community stakeholders who were instrumental in developing its vision.
San Diego County’s Comprehensive Strategy is an integrated systems-approach predicated upon a philosophy of shared responsibility among government and community partners along with coordinated action to assess factors and influences that put youth at-risk of delinquency. It is made up of evidence-based practices focused on family-strengthening, positive youth development and sanctioning only the most serious violent and chronic offenders. In turn, we have built a system of youth programs focused in five areas: prevention, intervention, treatment, supervision and custody. It is integral to the County’s culture and our success at reducing delinquent juvenile behavior to work with community partners to design and implement these types of programs. As such, services in our juvenile system are provided by a network of community-based organizations in conjunction with the County Probation Department, local law enforcement agencies, the District Attorney, the Public Defender, Health and Human Services Agency, Juvenile Court and schools. These programs and partnerships to prevent and reduce delinquency have proven to be successful.
Our local Comprehensive Strategy has allowed us to build and maintain a system of care for juvenile offenders and at-risk youth. The cornerstone of our Board’s juvenile justice policies is cited in Board of Supervisors Policy A-92 (2011) and is conceptualized in the Comprehensive Strategy for Youth, Family and the Community adopted by our Board in 1998. Since the inception of the Comprehensive Strategy, the Board Supervisors has worked with stakeholders to ensure that the community voice, experience and knowledge is sustained and utilized in building a supportive system of care for youth and families. The Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council and the Juvenile Justice Comprehensive Strategy Task Force, facilitated by The Children’s Initiative, are instrumental in guiding San Diego’s nationally recognized prevention and intervention strategies. This approach has contributed to significant positive outcomes for youth.
On April 9, 2013 (11), our board initiated a process to review and assess a segment of the juvenile justice continuum to determine community need, program design and integrity of the outcomes. The impetus for the board direction was the realization that prevention and early intervention programs were being operated separately due to fragmented funding streams and multiple department oversight. A robust planning process with County staff and community stakeholders resulted in a redesign of these programs, combining them into a single contract overseen by the County Probation department. At the time, there were no new resources to enhance the continuum of care.
We now have an opportune moment to build on that success to advance the goals and objectives of the Comprehensive Strategy by conducting an inventory of the full continuum of services, including prevention, intervention, treatment, supervision and custody provided by the Public Safety Group and Health and Human Services Agency departments. This exercise would help determine if services are meeting the current needs of delinquent and at-risk youth and guide appropriate redesign and enhancements.
Today’s action would authorize the Chief Administrative Officer to work with County departments and community stakeholders to review strategies that address the needs of at-risk youth and youth already in the juvenile justice system and to make recommendations regarding actions focused on prevention, diversion and intervention services to advance the County’s Comprehensive Strategy for Youth, Family and the Community. It would also memorialize the history, goals and success of the Comprehensive Strategy into existing Board policy to ensure continuity of this model for future actions.
Linkage to the County of San Diego Strategic Plan
Today’s proposed action supports the Safe Communities Initiative of the County of San Diego’s 2015-2020 Strategic Plan by making recommendations related to strengthening San Diego County’s strategies to address the needs of youth in the juvenile justice system and youth at-risk of entering the juvenile justice system, including recommendations regarding actions focused on prevention, diversion and intervention services to advance the County’s Comprehensive Strategy for Youth, Family and the Community.
GREG COX RON ROBERTS
Supervisor, First District Supervisor, Fourth District
AGENDA ITEM INFORMATION SHEET
REQUIRES FOUR VOTES: [ ] Yes [X] No
WRITTEN DISCLOSURE PER COUNTY CHARTER SECTION 1000.1 REQUIRED
[ ] Yes [X] No
PREVIOUS RELEVANT BOARD ACTIONS:
BOARD POLICIES APPLICABLE:
A-92 – Juvenile Justice
BOARD POLICY STATEMENTS:
ORACLE AWARD NUMBER(S) AND CONTRACT AND/OR REQUISITION NUMBER(S):
ORIGINATING DEPARTMENT: Board of Supervisors, District 1 and District 4
OTHER CONCURRENCES(S): N/A