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  2008 YEAR IN REVIEW

 
Assistant Sheriff A. H. Guerin II
Detention Services Bureau

The Detention Services Bureau (DSB) comprises three operational areas. With eight detention facilities and an annual budget of approximately $200 million, the bureau accepted nearly 100,000 new bookings in 2008. Detention facilities staff housed, fed, and supervised an average daily population of 5,205 inmates at an average cost of approximately $109 per inmate, per day. Male prisoners represented 85% of the inmate population and on average, inmates sentenced to the Sheriff’s custody spent 78 days in jail. Over 8.6 million meals were prepared and served by the Food Services Division at an average cost of  $0.93 per meal.
 
When State Proposition 69 became law in 2004, the bureau began collecting DNA samples from adults and juveniles convicted of certain felony offenses. In 2008, DSB staff collected DNA samples from 4,191 inmates, bringing the total since inception of Prop 69 to 24,614. In preparation for a provision to Penal Code 296, which mandates all felony arrestees must provide DNA samples beginning on January 1, 2009, the bureau developed plans to handle the expected increase in DNA collections. The Jail Population Management Unit, Las Colinas, San Diego Central, and Vista Detention facilities worked cooperatively to develop operational procedures, since the collections will occur during the intake and classification processes. The bureau also began planning for the delivery and installation of dedicated Live Scan machines provided by the Department of Justice for the rapid transmittal of fingerprints to the DNA Collection database. It is expected this advancement will enhance the department’s ability to collect critical evidence to aid in the solution of numerous unanswered cases.

In 2008, the DSB maintained a commitment toward being a leader in prisoner reentry efforts. In its second year, the Youthful Offender Reentry Program, based at the Descanso Detention Facility, offered 18 to 25-year-old high-risk offenders substance abuse education, cognitive behavior treatment and vocational and employment counseling. Each participant received a personalized re-entry plan to assist them in their return into the community which included goals and a “road map” to success. In 2008, 120 offenders were screened for the program and to date, 74 participants have successfully completed the program.

The East Mesa Detention Facility Re-entry Program steadily progressed in 2008 with Correctional Counselors conducting assessments, interviews, and identifying community programs and resources to aid inmates in their transition back into society. Over 806 inmates participated in this program during calendar year, 2008. When California Senate Bill 618 became law in 2007, San Diego County became the first in California authorized to create a multi-agency plan to develop policies and programs to educate and rehabilitate non-violent felony offenders. Taking the lead in this important response to reduce recidivism, the Sheriff’s Department and a contingent of partnering agencies including the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, San Diego County Probation Department, and the District Attorney’s Office provided tangible reentry support services to increase parolees’ success while out in the community. In 2008, 386 San Diego County Sheriff’s inmates were screened for participation in SB618, of which 311 (81%) were enrolled.

Deputy supervising a housing unit in the jail Also during 2008, the Medical Services Division (MSD) achieved significant accomplishments. The division played an instrumental role in the re-entry efforts associated with Senate Bill 618 by medically screening over 240 inmates for this program. MSD also focused efforts on expanding digital X-ray services to the Vista and Las Colinas detention facilities. By August, MSD successfully implemented digital X-ray services at the three booking facilities. Because of their efforts, the identification of inmates with tuberculosis (TB) is expected to increase significantly. The digital X-ray program offers not only shared benefits to both the health and safety of detentions staff and inmates, but also with the community public health efforts to limit TB exposure to the general public. To date, approximately 43,400 digital chest X-rays were conducted at the three booking facilities. Improved detection of inmates with active TB at screening has greatly reduced the number of contact investigations required and the number of inmates and staff exposed to TB.

Advancements made to the Sheriff’s network and the Jail Information Management System (JIMS) in 2008 allowed detentions personnel to work more efficiently and effectively. In its second year, the Inmate Email System allowed inmates to receive 351,538 messages, an increase of over 115,000 messages. Several JIMS modifications were rolled out, which included an expanded ability for staff to upload additional inmate photographs, new classification review modules, and changes allowing staff to add questions to the booking and medical processes. The JIMS team also completed an upgrade to the sentence calculation module. Once it was learned that JIMS, as originally designed, was programmed to deduct excess credit days from inmate sentences, the Inmate Processing Division staff was forced to calculate inmate sentences by hand. With the sentence calculation upgrade completed, JIMS now calculates accurate release dates for all sentenced inmates which requires inmates to serve the full sentences intended by the court system.

The Detentions Investigation Unit (DIU) continued to provide quality investigative services to the bureau. The six assigned detectives maintained an average caseload of 23 active cases. A total of 1,420 cases were handled and 172 cases were submitted to the District Attorney’s Office for prosecution. An ancillary duty performed by DIU was the processing of requests for access to the inmate telephone system. This year the DIU staff received and processed 6,023 various requests for inmate telephone system services.
 
The Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Las Colinas replacement facility was completed and released for public review in 2008. The Board of Supervisors is expected to consider certification of the EIR in March of 2009.

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