CRIMINAL JUSTICE ADVISORY COUNCIL ALTERNATIVES TO INCARCERATION REPORT September 8, 2005

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1 CRIMINAL JUSTICE ADVISORY COUNCIL ALTERNATIVES TO INCARCERATION REPORT September 8, 2005 The Criminal Justice Advisory Council ( CJAC ) established a Subcommittee to address recommendations regarding alternatives to incarceration in the Salt Lake County Criminal Justice System Assessment, prepared by the Institute for Law and Policy Planning ( ILPP Report ). (The full ILPP Report is available on CJAC s website at under Resources. ) The Subcommittee delivered a report to CJAC, and that report was subsequently adopted by CJAC with a few additions. The ILPP Report recommendations regarding alternatives to incarceration are listed below, organized by topic, as well as CJAC s response to each recommendation and a rationale for that response. The numbers in parentheses among the ILPP recommendations indicate the page numbers in the ILPP Report where those recommendations are located. COMMUNITY SERVICE/COMMUNITY IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM IN LIEU OF INCARCERATION S Municipalities should institute a program of community service to provide a method for defendants to work off fines rather than sit idle in jail. (6.20) Develop a public service work program as a sanction for offenders who do not pay fines/fees and as an alternative to jail for other probation violators. (7.19) Implement this at the Day Reporting Center and monitor success. There is a difference of opinion as to the potential effectiveness of this approach. Some think it would be a worthwhile venture to provide community service opportunities to offenders who are unable to pay fines, allowing that community service to satisfy the fine and allowing the offender to avoid serving jail time for failure to pay the fine. Others feel that this approach would not have the anticipated benefit because offenders who are serving jail time for failure to pay a fine are doing so for willful failure to pay, not because they do not have the means to pay. Thus, a community service program may not result in a jail diversion effect. Other obstacles in establishing such a program include supervision, liability concerns and determining which local government(s) would host the program. Even those who supported the concept of a community service program expressed some concerns with the cost associated with supervising a group of offenders involved in such a program and with the liability of sending groups of offenders into the community. There were also questions of whether this was the proper role of a municipality and whether a single municipality would have enough offenders involved in a community service program to make it worthwhile.

2 CJAC does not want to dismiss the idea of a community service program, but also feels that it is not among the most pressing needs in the County and does not merit the expenses required for a stand-alone program. With these things in mind, CJAC will pilot a community service/community improvement program at the Day Reporting Center. This concept was included in the RFP for the Day Reporting Center. ELECTRONIC MONITORING Add electronic monitoring for the higher risk pretrial releases to enhance the effectiveness of supervised release. (7.4) Take no action at this time. Although electronic monitoring can be an effective supervision tool under certain circumstances, using electronic monitoring with pretrial release is not a wise use of resources for two reasons. First, Criminal Justice Services is currently releasing every offender on pretrial release that can be released. Pretrial release cannot safely be expanded because any additional offenders would pose threats to public safety. In other words, CJAC could not identify a population that is not now being released that could be released with the addition of electronic monitoring. Second, the addition of electronic monitoring for those currently on pretrial release is unnecessary. New resources should be directed at efforts to divert offenders from jail, rather than on this population that is already in the community. WORK RELEASE S Establish a county wide, county operated and county funded work release program. (8.3) Expand the community custody program to include additional lower risk inmates including those who have been incarcerated for failure to pay fines/fees. Expand selection criteria and permit, in appropriate cases, the immediate participation in the SHED/Work Release Programs for inmates employed at time of commitment. (7.12) Take no action at this time. All inmates who qualify for SHED and who do not have restrictions prohibiting their participation are currently involved in the program. There are many inmates who meet the eligibility criteria, but cannot participate in the program due to court orders. This obviously restricts the Sheriff s ability to manage the jail population by using alternatives to incarceration. CJAC would support expansion of the SHED program if the makeup of the jail changes. However, given the current population, this is not feasible. The Sheriff continues to work on work release and correctional industry alternatives and CJAC is supportive of those efforts. 2

3 Offenders who are incarcerated for failure to pay a fine are good candidates for the Day Reporting Center and efforts should be focused in that direction. DUI As an alternative to handling DUI offenders who violate probation and/or in lieu of the 48-hour jail requirement, institute an intervention program similar to ones used in Ohio and the City of Wichita, Kansas. (7.17) Expand the FOCUS program rather than implement the Ohio/Kansas model. The Ohio/Kansas model would be difficult to implement in Salt Lake County and would provide few, if any, additional benefits. Because Salt Lake County includes numerous prosecuting entities, rather than a centralized prosecuting agency, a single program of this sort applying to all DUI defendants would be difficult to coordinate and implement. Even if implemented, the program would likely not provide any benefits for at least two reasons. First, most first-time DUI defendants are performing community service rather than serving jail time, so the Ohio/Kansas model would not result in fewer offenders in jail. Second, this model is inappropriate for repeat offenders who pose a threat to public safety. Additionally, this model would generate public perception problems. Whether used as an alternative to jail at sentencing or as an alternative to jail for probation violations, this model would cause anger and confusion among the residents of Salt Lake County who expect leadership on this issue. Regardless of how demanding the curriculum may be, ordering DUI offenders to a hotel for a weekend will not be viewed as a strong statement against driving while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. This is especially true in light of recent reports that DUI-related fatalities have increased 81% in Utah in the last year. Such public perception problems are unnecessary when better models are currently in place within the County. Criminal Justice Services and Salt Lake City operate FOCUS, a program which targets first and second-time DUI offenders and involves intensive probation supervision, participation in Community Review Panels, and substance abuse education and treatment as appropriate. Depending upon the circumstances of the case, the prosecutor may or may not offer reduced charges as an incentive for completion of the program. CJAC encourages the expansion of FOCUS to another municipality, such as West Valley City if the West Valley City prosecutor and judges are amenable. CJAC supports County funding of an additional case manager to facilitate the expansion. 3

4 SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT Continue to work toward expanding residential and outpatient treatment slots. (7.23) CJAC will request $1.2 million in ongoing funds from the County Council for additional substance abuse treatment. CJAC has previously discussed and adopted this recommendation. As many as 85% of offenders have a substance abuse addiction. Many are under the influence of illegal substances at the time the crime is committed or commit the crime to fund a drug habit. More of these offenders could be treated in the community with additional treatment resources and the proper supervision. CJAC proposes increasing substance abuse treatment capacity along the entire treatment continuum and funding additional assessors who will determine the most appropriate treatment plan prior to placement in a treatment program. It is critical that offenders treated in the community be supervised by case managers who understand substance abuse addictions and the treatment process. The County Council appropriated $400,000 for additional substance abuse treatment for 2005 and CJAC will request full funding of $1.2 million for The target population for the additional treatment capacity will continue to be incarcerated offenders who can be released with the guarantee of a treatment slot and offenders who can be diverted from jail with the same guarantee. Some of these offenders will be served simultaneously by the Day Reporting Center. Work toward the goal of conducting a substance abuse assessment prior to placing offenders in treatment programs to ensure that treatment resources are appropriately utilized. (7.23) This has been a long-standing goal of the Division of Substance Abuse Services and that agency is making significant progress toward the fulfillment of this goal. Substance abuse assessments should be conducted by an entity that is independent of the entity providing treatment and CJAC encourages all courts to adopt this model. The Division of Substance Abuse Services has been working toward this goal for years and has had a significant impact on the way this issue is viewed by the entire state. Recent projects have raised awareness of the importance of this effort among treatment providers, probation providers, and the judiciary and these projects have resulted in significant progress. During the 2005 First Special Session, the Legislature funded a Salt Lake County pilot of the Drug Offender Reform Act ( DORA ). The Salt Lake County DORA pilot mandates that substance abuse assessments be conducted prior to sentencing and placement in a treatment program for DORA participants. The mandate is intended 4

5 to provide judges with additional information prior to sentencing and to ensure that offenders are placed in appropriate treatment programs. The County is also making progress on using the newly appropriated substance abuse treatment funds (these new funds have become known as the County Offender Reform Act ( CORA )). The Division of Substance Abuse Services has used a portion of the CORA funds to place a contracted assessor in the jail. Assessments conducted by this person will be used in petitioning courts for the release of appropriate offenders to community treatment and will help ensure proper treatment placements. The Division of Substance Abuse Services is also conducting a pilot in the new West Jordan Courthouse wherein a full-time assessor will be dedicated to the West Jordan District Court. In addition, a case tracker will be provided on-site and will work closely with the judges and court staff to identify offenders at arraignment who may be good candidates for a substance abuse assessment. These offenders will be given the option of completing a substance abuse assessment. If they choose an assessment, they will be given an appointment and sent to the assessment office by the case tracker. The assessment will be conducted by a licensed mental health therapist who will be able to: (1) perform the bio-psych-social assessment (ASI); (2) make a diagnosis; and (3) make a recommendation to the judge for substance abuse treatment placement and community supervision. This comprehensive assessment report will be included in the pre-sentence report and provided to the judge for use in sentencing. The Division has also instituted a process for providing independent assessments for DUI offenders. The DUI Assessment and Referral Services (ARS) conducts clinical screening and assessments and refers offenders to a continuum of treatment services. This has been implemented through a partnership between Salt Lake County Division of Substance Abuse Services, the Salt Lake County Division of Criminal Justice Services, and the University of Utah. Based on local and national research indicating that approximately 3/4 of offenders convicted of DUI have an alcohol and drug dependency best addressed through treatment, clinical assessments are prepared by appropriately licensed clinical staff in accordance with professional standards using validated, predictive instruments. The results of the assessments and clinical interviews are used to determine the need for treatment and the level/intensity of treatment using the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) Placement Criteria. Since implementation of ARS, the Division has discovered that a greater number of DUI offenders are identified as having a need for treatment than under the old system of hitand-miss non-clinical assessments. The ability to more accurately identify treatment needs combined with appropriate referrals to the existing continuum of treatment will reduce probation violations and new arrest rates. Finally, assessors will be placed in the Day Reporting Center to assist in matching offenders with the appropriate treatment programs. 5

6 A primary focus of these efforts is ensuring that independent substance abuse assessments are conducted prior to program placement (and where possible, prior to sentencing). The results will be better informed sentencing, diversion from jail, better treatment outcomes, and better management of treatment resources. CJAC emphasizes the need for substance abuse assessments to be conducted by an entity independent of the treating agency and encourages all courts to adopt this model. Where not routinely done, develop a system to track outcome data on an annual basis for all treatment programs. (7.24) The Division of Substance Abuse Services has implemented this recommendation by instituting a practice of tracking National Outcome Measures. Salt Lake County substance abuse providers are now required to complete Government Performance and Results Act/ National Outcome Measures on each County and Medicaid funded client. These outcome measures will be conducted while the client is engaged in treatment services and also at post-treatment intervals. Client outcomes measurements/review intervals will be conducted every two weeks for high and medium intensity residential treatment, and every sixty days for intensive outpatient, day treatment, low intensity residential treatment, and general outpatient treatment. The ability to document effective outcomes for clients receiving these services is critical and will be the standard for future funding consideration. MENTAL HEALTH There appears to be a need for either a county-wide justice court mental health court or a coordinated approach to the delivery of services to the misdemeanant chronically mentally ill defendant/offender. (7.24) CJAC is exploring this through a recently develop committee of experts. CJAC recognizes the need for a mental health court at the Justice Court level and there is agreement among many Justice Court Judges and municipal prosecutors. Details of such a court will be developed by a separate committee comprised of interested parties and other experts in the field. 6

7 DAY REPORTING CENTER Review the feasibility of expanding the day treatment program to open space for referrals from the County Criminal Justice agency and the Justice Courts with client fees and referring agencies absorbing any additional cost. (7.27) The County should establish a Day Reporting Center for misdemeanor offenders. CJAC has previously discussed and adopted this recommendation. A Day Reporting Center ( DRC ) is a non-residential facility that provides community-based services to offenders in a structured environment. Services include life skills training, domestic violence counseling, basic mental health services, anger management strategies, cognitive restructuring, education assistance, and employment assistance. Many DRC clients will also receive substance abuse treatment. The DRC is accompanied by increased supervision and collaboration by supervising authorities and service providers. The DRC is an alternative to incarceration and is premised on the idea that there are currently offenders in jail who can be safely and effectively managed and treated in the community with the proper supervision and supportive services. The DRC addresses fundamental problems in offenders lives that lead to criminal behavior and thus reduces the likelihood of future criminal behavior. The County Council appropriated $350,000 for operating the Day Reporting Center during 2005 and CJAC will request full funding of $800,000 for PRE-SENTENCE REPORTS Establish a committee of judges, probation managers and AP&P staff to review the PSR format with the goal of developing a limited pre-sentence report for misdemeanant referrals that responds to the court s needs while requiring significantly less labor to produce. (7.17) The County PSR cannot be limited without significantly decreasing its usefulness. AP&P should adopt the West Valley Model PSI statewide. CJAC will ask the Legislature to appropriate additional resources to AP&P so that agency may conduct pre-sentence investigation reports on all class A misdemeanors. CJAC opposes legislation that would repeal the mandate for AP&P to perform presentence investigation reports on all class A misdemeanors. CJAC established a working group to review issues related to pre-sentence reports. The working group noted that due to a rising felony caseload and decreasing resources, Adult Probation and Parole ( AP&P ) is unable to conduct Pre-sentence Investigation Reports ( PSIs ) on all class A misdemeanors, despite a statutory obligation to do so. Consequently, judges are requesting that Criminal Justice Services conduct class A Pre- 7

8 sentence Reports ( PSRs ) 1 and the resulting caseload increase is impacting Criminal Justice Service s ability to focus on offenses originating in Justice Courts. In other words, no agency has enough resources to conduct all of the pre-sentence reports that courts need. The County PSR is already as streamlined as possible. Further limiting the County PSR would decrease its usefulness and would fail to provide judges with the information they need for sentencing. Absent a decrease in the number of PSR requests, Criminal Justice Services will need to establish referral criteria for PSRs and those criteria will likely include declining certain class A misdemeanors. AP&P formerly used an abbreviated PSI for certain offenses in the West Valley Courthouse. Though well-liked by the West Valley District Court Judges, this abbreviated PSI, called the West Valley Model PSI, was discontinued in an effort to harmonize PSIs across the state. CJAC recommended that AP&P adopt the West Valley Model PSI statewide for non-violent, non-sex related: class A misdemeanors, third degree felonies and second degree felonies. This would allow AP&P to dedicate more time to class A misdemeanor PSIs. AP&P management rejected this idea, stating that any time savings involved in conducting a West Valley Model PSI compared to a full PSI would be minimal and would not compensate for the addition of class A misdemeanor PSIs. CJAC still believes that AP&P should adopt the West Valley Model PSI and should explore other ways to fulfill its statutory duty to conduct PSIs on all class A misdemeanor offenses. CJAC recognizes that recent cuts to AP&P s budget have limited its ability to do this and CJAC will, therefore, request that the Legislature appropriate additional resources to AP&P. AP&P management may request a statutory amendment that will require AP&P to conduct PSIs on only certain types of class A misdemeanor offenses. CJAC will actively oppose this type of legislation and will coordinate with the Utah Association of Counties and county officials to inform legislators of the negative impact this would have on counties and the judiciary statewide. 1 PSIs, prepared by AP&P, and PSRs, prepared by Criminal Justice Services, are similar documents which provide judges with background information on the offender, circumstances regarding the crime, and sentencing recommendations. In order to distinguish between the report prepared by AP&P and the report prepared by Criminal Justice Services, this report will use the acronyms adopted by the respective agencies even though both reports are prepared for the same purpose. 8

9 RECEIVING CENTER CJAC INITIATIVE CJAC is exploring the establishment of a county-operated adult receiving center as a diversionary tool for substance abusing and/or mentally ill offenders. An adult receiving center would be a facility where law enforcement officers take offenders who are under the influence of substances and/or are mentally ill and who are public nuisances, but have not committed major crimes. (Criteria would need to be established to guide law enforcement officers in determining who goes to jail and who goes to the receiving center.) Receiving center staff would thoroughly assess those offenders, develop a service plan, and place the offenders in substance abuse treatment, mental health services, and other services as necessary. Benefits include increased time on the streets for law enforcement officers (receiving center drop-offs take only minutes of the officer s time), jail diversion, reduced recidivism for offenders who are among those most frequently arrested and booked into jail, and improved health for substance abusing and mentally ill individuals. 9

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