The Criminal Justice Coordinating Council will meet on Monday, January 30 in the County Commission Chamber.
Douglas County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council
January 30th, 2017
11:00am – 12:30pm
1. Review and approve CJCC meeting minutes from December 13th, 2016
2. Presentation of Lawrence Police Department statistics – Chief Khatib
3. Overview of the DGCO District Attorney Office Diversion Programs – Charles Branson
4. Pretrial Monitoring and Behavioral Health Court update - Bieniecki
5. Information regarding conference call with the Council of State Governments - Bieniecki
6. New business/discussion
7. Next meeting March 7th, 2017 at 1030. Presentation from Rise Haneberg
January 30, 2017
Douglas County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council Meeting (CJCC)
County Commissioner Mike Gaughan, chair, called the regular meeting to order at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, January 30, 2017.
Those in attendance included: Mike Gaughan; David Johnson, Edith Guffey, Susan Hadl, Bob Tryanski, Shaye L. Downing, Chief Khatib, Pam Weigand, Chuck Epp, Scott Miller, and Charles Branson. Ex-Officio members included: Craig Weinaug, Michelle Roberts and Mike Brouwer. Also attending from the KU School of Social Welfare assisting the meeting Margaret Severson and Jason Matejkowski; and Lisa Larsen, City Commissioner. Robert Bieniecki, CJCC Coordinator was absent due to illness.
The minutes from the 12-13-16 CJCC meeting were passed out for review. Any revisions are to be sent to Robert Bieniecki or Robin Crabtree. The minutes will be considered for approval at the next meeting
Robert Bieniecki, CJCC Coordinator, was absent so the agenda was revised during the meeting.
PRESENTATION OF LAWRENCE POLICE DEPARTMENT STATISTICS
Captain Trent McKinley, LPD Technical Services, provided total arrest data from January 2015-July 2016. However, Captain McKinley found a flaw in the information. (Minutes do not reflect data as it was inaccurate.) The information highlighted the difficulty in data collection.
Shaye Downing asked if charges listed for major crimes are based on the officer’s arrest or from the District Attorney’s office. Captain McKinley responded often times if an officer in the field has probable cause that a major crime was committed the person would go to the jail and be booked for the crime. Whether or not they are formally charged through the DA’s office can change. The officer enters what the person is suspected of.
Gaughan asked how the information they have in file differs from what they would like to be able to collect. Chief Tarik Khatib responded in a perfect world there would be a checklist of information that covers everything. LPD is receiving 120K calls per year.
OVERVIEW OF THE DGCO DISTRICT ATTORNEY OFFICE DIVERSION PROGRAMS
Charles Branson, District Attorney, explained Diversion.
The term Diversion is not always used correctly. Kansas Statutes give authority to enter into a diversion agreement. The general requirement for a County or the District Attorney to have a diversion program is having written policies and guidelines and the defendant must be informed in writing of the program. To determine whether a Diversion should be granted, the DA can gather certain information, such as prior criminal history, residence, medical history, work experience and training, education, and information to see if the defendant is a good candidate. The DA takes into consideration: the nature of crime charge, first time offender, probability of cooperation and whether the defendant will benefit from the program. They also consider the impact of the diversion on the community. Some offenses are prohibited from diversion due to severity of the offense.
Hadl asked if a person had a past conviction on record of DUI and asked for a diversion on a new charge of aggravated battery, would he still be eligible for a diversion. Branson responded we will look at the criminal history and recent occurrences. Guidelines allow for diversion for people who have no or minimum criminal history. If an offense is really old or nonrelated, Branson said that information would be taken into consideration. Diversion is an agreement with the District Attorney’s office, not the judge. The DA will dismiss the charges if all conditions are met.
Gaughan asked Branson to describe the severity level drug crimes. Branson replied:
Severity Level 1 or 2 drug crimes consist of distribution of meth, drug distribution (not first offense), and simple possession of cocaine is level 3. Drug crimes were reclassified in 2012 increasing drug levels from 4 to 5 opening diversion possibilities.
David Johnson asked if restitution keeps someone from a diversion. Branson stated it may extend the diversion or be revoked by the judge if he/she finds the offender didn’t complete their agreement.
Chuck Epp asked how many cases are diverted each year. Branson responded about 10% of all cases.
There are application fees as part of the diversion requirement, though people are not turned away because they cannot pay. The offender may pay through community service. The attorney can be asked to waive court fees. Often times, people refuse to do community service. Juveniles can also file for diversion, though there aren’t as many. Diversions run through The Shelter, but work the same way as regular diversions. The juvenile offender may be asked to complete community service, attend school regularly and pass their courses.
Gaughan asked what the priorities for DA’s office are regarding diversions. Branson responded to try to expand diversion prospects. What we have is a bit above standard. We are ahead of the program. However Philadelphia, for example, offers a diversion program for distribution of cocaine, but it’s expensive. And, they offer housing opportunities. Douglas County is resource poor.
Branson stated the majority for diversion denials come from the offender committing a new crime after the application is pending; the second most common reason is the criminal record.
The upcoming goals of the District Attorney are to look at the female population, try to create immediate availability of services including housing and treatment; and find ways to get the offender into the reentry program.
PRETRIAL MONITORING AND BEHAVIORAL HEALTH COURT UPDATE
Michelle Roberts stated in January, five new defendants were added to the pretrial monitoring program. This freed up five cells and 80 days of incarceration. So far we’ve had a total of 25 defendants in the program freeing a total of 621 days in jail. This was a good savings to the County. Though Bieniecki would like a March 1 kick off date, Roberts feels that is premature. We are still working out the bugs. Once things are kicked off there may still need to be adjustments. Roberts plans on meeting with defense attorneys to get their feedback on the program.
Gaughan asked if the 25 defendants are all on electronic monitoring. Roberts responded 12 are on electronic monitoring, 10 monitors were free (on a trial basis), and two monitors are being paid for by the defendants. One defendant had to be tracked down and he is now back in custody. Staff has now been trained to set up the monitoring systems. The program is going well. Roberts feels judges will continue to send defendants to the program.
The Behavior Health Court is now up on the website. All of the policies and procedures are in place. One person has been accepted into the program from the beginning. Of the four applications received, one was sent for consideration and the other applicants didn’t fit the criteria. Roberts said two new applications have been submitted this week.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE CONSULTANT
Dr. Allen Beck, who has 20 years experience working with the criminal justice system, stated he has attended eight meetings looking at best practices. Beck has worked with the Missouri Court system creating a manual for Best Practices for Pretrial Release. Beck stated attorneys don’t understand the pre-trial release program. It is important attorneys see the instrument in draft form and we receive their input. The concept of pretrial release involves three things: accessing the risk of failure to appear in court, and risk of a new criminal offense, and providing the appropriate level of monitoring. You cannot impose treatment on a defendant, but they can volunteer for it. We need to determine how often a defendant reports in, if they need electronic monitoring, and how are we notified. The goal is for the defendant to remain crime free, show up in court so we keep them out of jail and employed.
INFORMATION REGARDING CONFERENCE CALL WITH THE COUNCIL OF STATE GOVERNMENTS
Mike Brouwer, and Robert Bieniecki had a conference call with the Robert Sullivan, CJCC Coordinator from Johnson County (in attendance) regarding the Stepping Up initiative. Their discussion consisted of needing to establish the four key measures to reduce the number of mentally ill people in jail. Four things they are currently looking at: screening and booking, length of stay, connection to community services, and the recidivism rate. Also important is setting a gold standard for data collection. Brouwer said they are close to setting the data requirements to meet that goal. Reno County also participated in the call. They have a full-time mental health staff dedicated to jail and best practices.
Brouwer introduced Emily Kennedy, the new data analyst.
Susan Hadl said she would like to meet with the County Commission to receive more direction.
• Next Meeting: Tuesday, March 7, 2017 at 10:30 a.m., in the County Commission Chamber
Gaughan moved to adjourn the meeting. Motion was seconded by Hadl and carried.