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Rehabilitation Services Coordinator
Dr. Martin Jones
Angelica M. Almeida, Ph.D
Senior Dep. Ward
A Message from Sheriff
Midsummer brings important accomplishments for staff and inmates and their families. We continue supporting staff development with mental health training and new duties. We are working to make inmates' family lives a little easier by reducing costs for inmate calls
as well as reducing commissary charges
As more people with mental illness end up in jail, many of them with severe symptoms, our deputies must learn new skills to manage tense situations and maintain safety for inmates and staff. Partnering with Behavioral Health Services, we developed an intensive Crisis Intervention Training. This program has been well received and the training will be provided to all deputies in the near future.
I am pleased to report that we recently began transporting arrested individuals from the Tenderloin and Mission Police Stations to the SFSD Intake and Release Facility for booking into jail. This service allows police officers to remain on the street actively engaged in their duties. Our deputies have transported inmates before, but it was discontinued for lack of funding. However, this return to deputy sheriff transport is a very cost effective practice, and a more efficient use of both police and sheriff deputy time. Currently, this is a six-month pilot program, but we hope to expand it to all ten district stations on a long term basis.
Strengthening family connections is crucial to successful reentry and preventing recidivism. We celebrated Fathers' Day with a wonderful picnic for our incarcerated fathers, their children and families. Bringing children and fathers together gives a tremendous boost to both as they work to maintain their relationships despite the separation of jail. Following up on our efforts to reduce the costs of inmate phone calls, we are now entering into a new commissary contract with lower fees. Having a family member in jail creates many financial hard ships, and every few dollars saved lessens that burden.
Enjoy the summer - go out to a ballgame! Specifically please join us at the Giants' game on July 29 to support our law enforcement colleagues.
In the November 2001 Election, the citizens of San Francisco passed Proposition E, an Elections reform measure, that went into effect January 1, 2002. Among other things, the charter amendment provides that, "the Sheriff shall be responsible for transporting all voted ballots and all other documents or devices used to record votes from the polls to the central counting location and approving a security plan for the ballots until the certification of election results."
Sheriff's Election Day assignments include the following: Ballot Collectors, Sheriff's Command Post, City Hall Security, Memory Pack Collection, Staging, Check-In and the Support Processing Center.
Months before Election Day, several planning stages take place. One of the first duties is to assess staffing levels throughout the Department. The number of sworn employees needed is dictated by the size of the Election.
The Sheriff's Department must also present a security plan to the Elections Commission for the City and County of San Francisco. Lieutenant Shannon appeared before the commission on May 21st and gave an overview of the Sheriff's Department operational procedure for the Election.
As technology interacts with the workforce, the Department of Elections
provided 23 Global Positioning System (GPS) devices to our department. The GPS devices were placed in various Election vehicles during the evening retrieval of voting materials. The devices allowed the Sheriff's command post to log into a website to accurately view where our vehicles were located at any given time. This technology helped us re-direct personnel as needed but also allowed us to monitor if all vehicles were operational or if someone needed assistance.
As Undersheriff F. Rocha experienced his first Election operation, he was very appreciative of the professionalism and dedication put forth by Sheriff's staff to secure and protect the voting process for the citizens of the City and County of San Francisco.
Crisis Intervention Training
Research suggests that rates of mental illness in jails have increased upwards of 50% over the last five years (Hirshkorn and Mitchell, 2011; Wiener, 2012), which is a trend that has been seen within the San Francisco City and County jail system. Given the increasing needs of the jail population, the deputies with the San Francisco Sheriff's Department (SFSD) intervene in ways that were not previously anticipated.
In response to this, Behavioral Health Services (BHS) partnered with SFSD in 2012 to develop an intensive Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) that is designed to improve the quality of services provided to the mentally ill population during their incarceration. This intensive training includes interactive lectures, skill building activities, and field-based learning (including a visit to a community-based clinic.) Particular focus is paid to collaboration across agencies and skills that can be utilized when interacting with inmates in crisis such as de-escalation and suicide prevention.
In October 2013, staff from BHS and SFSD presented a speech on the topic of the development of this training at the CIT International Conference
. Feedback from attendees at the conference, as well as deputized staff who have completed the training, has been overwhelmingly positive and the curriculum has been utilized as a standard for crisis intervention training in forensic settings. It is anticipated that all sworn and program staff in custody operations and field operations will receive this training in the near future.
SF STORIES VIDEO STORYTELLING PROJECT
On June 16th ten women housed at County Jail #2 (CJ#2) embarked on the challenge of telling a piece of their story. Normally, everyone sits in a circle or talks together one-on-one sharing memories. However, this time their storytelling was different and more empowering. It was storytelling that could be heard beyond the walls of incarceration. The work took stage on the World Wide Web.
The San Francisco Sheriff's Department (SFSD) with t
he Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC)
, and the Recovery Survival Network (RSN)
collaborated to provide an amazing chance for the women "inside" called "SF Stories." The women were given the opportunity to learn digital media tools on the mobile digital media lab, which included HD video cameras. In addition, the women learned digital audio recording and non-linear video editing software that allowed for their own visual art and pictures of their families to be included in their digital stories. The curriculum included writing prompts and questions to consider such as: Who is your audience? Who are you writing your story for? What is your point of view? This five week, three-nights-a-week workshop has been a transformative experience for all ten of the participants. The transformation came in the community that the women built among themselves. Some of the stories shared had never been told before. Sharing respect and support, the women created a safe cathartic environment inside the jail that allowed for very deep interpersonal work. Some of those stories were captured on film.
BAVC has a long-held belief that "in the process of articulating and crafting one's own story, individuals develop vital critical thinking, communication, and leadership skills that serve as a foundation for personal transformation and healing." Through the art of storytelling in "SF Stories" women on the inside were each empowered beyond their own expectations.
When asked how this experience was transformative, one participant stated, "SF stories has given me the chance to express myself, tell my truth and share my story along with teaching me hands-on a new learning experience with the components of video production. I am very honored to have been given the opportunity to participate in this workshop and have learned many great things along the way. I can truly say my life has been inspired by telling my truth and I hope to inspire other's/women with my story."
Father's Day at San Bruno
On a rare, sunny day at San Bruno County Jail #5, One Family - a parenting education program of Community Works West -- made history. In collaboration with the San Francisco Sheriff's Department and Community Works West's Project WHAT (We're Here And Talking - run for and by children with incarcerated parents), One Family hosted its first Father's Day event celebrating caretakers, their children, the families of incarcerated fathers and the fathers themselves. Children participated in a variety of activities such as face painting, cupcake decorating, and arts and crafts.
The children had the opportunity to create a banner which represented their favorite memories with their fathers. The families enjoyed an excellent barbecue while learning about community organizations that provide resources and services for housing, employment, education, and childcare. Approximately 20 families attended. Children who would normally shy away
from questions about what they did on Father's Day were now able to express, with confidence, the wonderful time they shared with their fathers. The importance of recognizing the children's loss without making them feel responsible for that loss cannot be overstated. In fact, one staff member at the event overheard a girl say, "I
usually don't have anything to say about Father's Day because I don't like to say where he is, but this year I had a party to go to and I will say that." Providing the families with appreciation, a safe place to network with those similarly situated, and quality time with their children exemplified the importance for fathers to make a conscious effort to consider their children in every decision they make. In this way, the Father's Day event at San Bruno County Jail was an incredible success.
Now Follow SFSD on Facebook and Twitter
The San Francisco Sheriff's Department is moving into the social media world! We invite you, your friends and family to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. The Department plans to use social media to enhance our capacity to communicate effectively with the public. Using Facebook and Twitter @sheriffsf will not take the place of traditional message dissemination through web and news outlets, but will serve to supplement these information portals in a way that provides a more complete, two-way communication exchange with our community.