COMMISSION ON RACIAL AND ETHNIC FAIRNESS
CRIMINAL AND JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM
SEPTEMBER MEETING MINUTES
Hosted by PEACE OFFICERS STANDARDS TRAINING (POST)
Department of Public Safety- Calvin Rampton Building
Salt Lake City, Utah
Wednesday, October 1, 2003
Judge William Thorne, Chairing Meeting
David Gomez for Mike Chabries
Judge Tyrone Medley
| STAFF PRESENT:
| MEMBERS ABSENT:
Rep Duane Bourdeaux
Sheriff LaMont Tyler
Cmmsnr Bob Flowers
Senator David Gladwell
| GUESTS PRESENT:
Professor Erik Luna
1. Welcome and Lunch
* Lunch was served. Special thanks to POST for hosting and sponsoring lunch. Minutes from the Commission May and August meeting were reviewed and approved.
* Judge Thorne welcomed the new Commission member: Jesse Gallegos, Board of Pardon; Senator David Gladwell, Representative Duane Bourdeaux, and Sheriff LaMont Smith.
2. Subcommittee Update
2a. Research Subcommittee (Ed McConkie)
* A summary on the status of the racial profiling law was given. CCJJ did not feel that any significant results on traffic stops could be drawn with one data item.
* Michael Zimmerman raised the concern that it was not the intent of the Commission to simply examine racial profiling in traffic stops. He noted that though, that may have been Representative Bourdeaux's intent, that is not the consensus that the Commission reached in their meetings with Senators. Mike proposed that the Commission's intent was to have a single identifier to track people throughout their contact with the legal system. With a valid driver's license and database, questions of whether or not minorities receive harsher sentences and at what point in the system they receive harsher sentences, can be tracked. Comparison studies between similarly situated minorities and non-minorities can be done.
* Ed will have his researcher, Mike Haddon, look into what can be done. Though there may not be an additional cost to input the data there is a cost associated with CCJJ to do such research.
* Ed also noted that the statute doesn't speak to such research. Mike Zimmerman noted however that this was the concept pitched to the legislature to get them to sign on.
* It was also presented that the Consortium on Juvenile Justice could pick up some of the Task Force recommended research items. These topics include: examining how socioeconomic factors affect DCFS and DYC custody decisions; examining how indigent defense in conducted by the Legal Defenders Associations and the Utah State Bar; and treatment options for drug users.
* On October 15, a cost/ benefit model will be presented. This model will measure the effectiveness of programs, which was also a task force recommendation.
2b. Community Involvement (Carolina Webber)
* The Commission members were thanked for their participation with the public hearings. Judge Medley, Judge Thorne and Michael Zimmerman were thanked for facilitating.
* Two, maybe three, public hearings are scheduled for November. One with the Native American community, one with the Asian American community and possibly one with the Pacific Islander community.
* It was noted that the subcommittees primary focus has been on public hearings but that the subcommittee has also been working on identifying key community issues for future projects.
* Judge Thorne stated that community members deserved special recognition and thanks and that perhaps follow-up hearings should be done yearly to let the community know of the Commissions commitment and to be constantly aware of community concerns.
2c. Complaints Process (Kal Farr)
* Kal described the following proposed complaints process:
written complaint -> Chief/ Sheriff -> Mayor/ City Council (for appeals)
See Sept 29, 2003 Complaints Process subcommittee notes for more detail.
* The subcommittee is working on creating a draft complaints form with carbon copies so that the complaintant and the Commission can be notified of decisions.
* Kal is heading up the law enforcement accreditation committee and will try to make the proposed process a part of the accreditation process.
* Jesse Gallegos asked if the complaints form will be translated into different languages. Kal noted that it could probably be done. Kal also noted that the subcommittee is working on identifying liasons in different regions to help people through the process if needed.
2d. Indigent Defense
* Nothing was reported
2e. Recruitment (Dan Becker)
* The Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) committee has created a model for request for proposals (RFPs) that includes a cultural competency component. The recruitment subcommittee has reviewed the proposal and recommended that this issue go to the Commission to be reviewed. It was suggested that the Commission support the model and encourage agencies to use the model in their RFP processes.
* Reg Garff will attend the next Commission meeting to give a 10 min. presentation on the RFP issue.
* Sid Groll discussed the subcommittee's proposed recruitment plan. It was suggested that a core group of approximately thirty law enforcement officers be formed to serve as mentors for eighteen to twenty-one year olds. The group would focus their efforts on minority high school graduates to prepare them for a career in law enforcement. It was noted that training recruits to meet current standards is an easier sell than to lower requirements to capture a specific group.
* It was decided that the Commission would send a formal letter to law enforcement agencies requesting that they select an officer to serve on this core group which would ultimately be reporting back to the Commission on their progress.
3. Annual Report Discussion (Judge Medley)
* Judge Medley extended a formal invitation to interested Commission members to join the annual report subcommittee.
* The subcommittee is expected to send a letter to individual agencies requesting critical analysis of their agency progress on Task Force recommendations by October 15.
* Agencies are expected to respond to the Commission letter by November 3. Agencies should begin analysis of their implementation efforts ASAP. Agencies will be asked several critical analysis questions, including: to what extent recommendations have been implemented, why specific recommendations have not been implemented, and to provide a timetable of progress among other questions.
* The Advisory Council will have a significant role in the production of the annual report as they are ultimately the end-users of the system.
* The expected annual report release will be at the beginning of April 2004 with an announcement made in January 2004.
* David Gomez asked if there would be a specific template or format that should be followed. Judge Medley indicated that the information would be provided in the letter.
4. Brown v. Board of Education- 50th anniversary celebration (John Adams)
* The Utah State Bar will be hosting a Brown v. Board of Education celebration in May 2004 and has invited the Commission and Commission agencies to participate in this event.
* Activities include: an Art & Law Contest, a Thurgood Marshall scholarship from the Office of Black Affairs; published letters to the editor from students; Jackie Robinson Day at Franklin Covey Field; a newspaper insert on May 17; rotating film with a panel discussion/ speaker; and general film festival.
* Commission involvement could include: providing a panel and moderators for panel discussions, writing opinion editorials for the major papers, helping with the newspaper supplement, and meeting with the publishers of the major papers to calendar community events and suggest newspaper articles.
* Advisory Council involvement could include: providing locations for the rotating film and panel discussion, meeting with the publishers of the major papers to calendar community events and suggest newspaper articles, etc.
* The Brown v. Board of Education activities are expected to last from May 1-17.
* Judge Medley volunteered to be part of panel discussions.
* Keith Hamilton will extend an invitation for participation at the next Advisory Council meeting on Oct 8 at the Sugarhouse Library (4:30-6pm).
5. Briefing on the Racial Profiling Symposium held at the University of Utah (Professor Erik Luna)
* Professor Luna gave a brief background of racial profiling to date, suggesting that pre-September 11, 2001 there was growing national consensus that racial profiling was an immoral practice that existed and needed to be stopped. Post- September 11, 2001, after the terrorist attacks on the US, the national consensus and support to stop racial profiling died down.
* Many questions drove the Symposium, including: what is racial profiling, is profiling wrong in every instance, how to remedy profiling if it is wrong, what are the costs v. benefits of profiling, what should be done now?
* New York City actually collected data on racial profiling, taking into account many variables. It was determined that racial profiling did occur in NYC.
* In one study it was actually determined that race is a distracting factor. When officers focus on "suspicious activity" rather than race, they have a higher success rate.
* Professor Luna noted that race is not something that should be ignored but rather people need to know when it is justifiable to use race. Also, perceptions are not based on statistics. Agencies should get beyond statistics and get to the source of problems. Why are people feeling discriminated against.
* Mike Zimmerman asked the question of how viable it would be to track discrimination once people were already in the system. Is collecting racial data enough? Professor Luna indicated that once people are in the system it is a closed universe so it would be easier to track individuals compared to traffic stops which occurs outside with unpredictable variables.
* Judge Medley asked if Professor Luna was available to serve as a resource for agencies wanting to examine profiling and racial and ethnic fairness. Professor Luna agreed.
6. Next Meeting
* The next Commission meeting will be WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 29, 2003. A specific location and meeting reminder will be sent two weeks prior to the meeting.
* Our November meeting is scheduled for WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 3, 2003. The date was changed due to the Thanksgiving holiday.
7. Action Items