COMMISSION ON RACIAL AND ETHNIC FAIRNESS
CRIMINAL AND JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM
OCTOBER MEETING MINUTES
Hosted by DIVISION OF YOUTH CORRECTIONS
Matheson Courthouse- Large Conference Room A
Salt Lake City, Utah
Wednesday, October 29, 2003
Keith Hamilton, Chairing Meeting
Bob Morris for Sid Groll
Rep Duane Bourdeaux
Cmmsnr Bob Flowers
Senator David Gladwell
Larry Houston, AC
Reg Garff, Disproportionate
Minority Contact Committee
Meeting Materials: agenda, meeting minutes (September 2003), town hearing announcements, Ogden community press release, complaint brought to the Commission, Calvary Hearing Summary.
1. Welcome and Lunch
* Lunch was served. Special thanks to Dan Maldonado and the Division of Youth Corrections for hosting and sponsoring lunch. Minutes from the September Commission meeting was reviewed and approved.
2. Advisory Council Update (Larry Houston, AC Co-Chair)
* The three priorities/ concerns addressed by the Advisory Council at their last minute is as follows:
1) The need for translators
2) Education on the Racial Profiling Law
3) Tensions between the Ogden community and local law enforcement
* The concern that Larry addressed at this meeting was that of the tensions between law enforcement and the Ogden community. Larry passed out and discussed a press release from Ogden community organizations concerning a concert incident that occurred on June 27, 2003 in which the use of force was used by law enforcement and African American individuals were arrested (see handout/ attachment). Larry also stressed the need for Commission involvement as the Chief of Police in Ogden was not being cooperative. Carolina expressed the same views, noting the unproductive attitude of the Ogden Chief at the Ogden public hearing held by the Commission in July.
* Kal Farr, from the Chiefs of Police Association, volunteered to discuss with Chief Griener and Sheriff Slater the incident and help facilitate dialogue between community leaders and law enforcement.
* Mike Zimmerman noted the benefits of communication and noted that it is definitely appropriate for the Commission to encourage dialogue between the community and law enforcement agencies. If dialogue between the two groups does not ease tensions that alternatives will have to be examined.
* Kal brought up the issue of a complaints process and the extent of Commission involvement in such a process. (see Complaints Process Update, 3c for further discussion).
* Leticia noted this would be a good test case to examine the Commission’s involvement in the complaints process and to examine the steps that a complaint would normally take.
Kal to help facilitate dialogue between community leaders and law enforcement.
3a. Research Subcommittee (Ed McConkie)
* Ed has convened a group to examine the antidotal evidence surrounding the alleged conduct by the Division of Motor Vehicle (DMV) employees: informing people that they can ignore or don’t need to fill in their race/ ethnicity of their driver’s license applications.
* The Commission members that will be part of this group will be: Ed, Mike Zimmerman, and Representative Bourdeaux.
* In response to Mike Zimmerman’s letter to the legislature in March 2002, Mike Haddon, CCJJ researcher, is examining the research possibilities of using the DMV racial data to track individuals/ groups through the entire legal system.
* Ed noted that CCJJ is not only limited by resources but also limited the types of research projects they will be able to take on as there is currently a sunset review of CCJJ set for 2004.
* Jesse Gallegos suggested that a letter be written in support of CCJJ on behalf of the Commission. Ed welcomed this gesture and mentioned that the letter would be particularly helpful if it could link CCJJ to particular legislative research topics, i.e. the racial profiling law.
* Dan Becker supported the letter but noted that the same committee examining CCJJ is also auditing the scope of the judiciary’s involvement with Task Forces, ie the Task Force on Racial and Ethnic Fairness. Actions that the Commission takes should be given that consideration as well.
* Mike Zimmerman suggested that the letter be sent out with not only the Chair’s, Judge Thorne’s, signature but with the signature of each Commission member to add weight to the letter and show the stakeholders involved. Mike also noted, in response to the audit issue, that the Commission is not the "judiciary’s creature" but rather a joint venture by Commission member agencies to evaluate the progress they are making.
* A formal motion was made for the "Commission to draft a letter in support of CCJJ" and for the letter to be sent out with the signature of all Commission members and given to Ed McConkie to determine how it should be best used. The motion was unanimously approved by the members present.
* Keith Hamilton asked if specific research conducted by the Task Force was available on the internet. Jesse Gallegos mentioned that Corrections has maintained the data that it has collected but it may not be available online. Jesse suggested that Chris Mitchell may be a good contact.
* Ed mentioned that Senator James Evans has convened a legislative hearing to determine how under-served communities are being addressed by various state agencies. It may be helpful to look at the findings of Senator Evans report to get a summary and to examine unnecessary redundancies. Ed will get a copy of the report if there is one.
Jesse Gallegos will draft a letter in support of CCJJ. The letter should be written by November 10 for the Operations Committee to approve. The letter will then be signed by each Commission member. The letter will be sent to Ed before November 19, when CCJJ goes before the legislative judicial committee.
Ed McConkie will provide the Commission with a copy of the findings from Senator Evans’s hearing, if there is a publication.
3b. Community Involvement (Carolina Webber)
* The Native American public hearing will be held on November 6 from 6-9pm at the Indian Walk-In Center.
* The Asian American public hearing will be held on November 12 from 6-8pm at the Cultural Celebration Center in West Valley.
* Commission members are invited to attend the public hearings as support from members is an important gesture to the communities.
* Additional hearings in Ogden and for the Pacific Islander community are in the progress of being formed. David Gomez from Corrections will be helping with the Pacific Islander meeting.
* Carolina also followed up on an complaint given to the Commission at our September meeting by Ms. Reza. Ms. Reza stated that since the last Commission meeting she had been billed by the Sheriff’s department for 4 hours of investigation time. The Commission members mentioned that should not have happened. Carolina indicated that she told Ms. Reza to provide a written account of her side along with a copy of the bill and the issue will be looked at .
* Though public hearings have been the primary focus of the Community subcommittee another goal has been to encourage communication. Carolina had stated that a possible option would be a media blitz to inform communities about the Commission and its work. Commission members might consider conducting media interviews, etc.
* Keith stated that the Operations Committee will address this issue of a media campaign/ consultant/ public relations campaign.
* Mike Zimmerman had suggested that the Commission might work to build relations with the legislature. It might be beneficial to reach out to Senator Evans and discuss the Commission’s support for CCJJ. It was motioned that the "Operations Committee meet with Senator Evans." The motion was unanimously approved by the Commission members present.
Commission members should try to attend the following public hearings:
The Native American public hearing on November 6 from 6-9pm at the Indian Walk-In Center.
The Asian American public hearing on November 12 from 6-8pm at the Cultural Celebration Center in West Valley.
Operations Committee to discuss a possibility of a public relations campaign.
Operations Committee to meet with Senator Evans
3c. Complaints Process (Leticia Medina)
* Leticia passed out a complaint addressed to the Judicial Conduct Commission (see handout). Additionally, a copy of the audio to the hearing addressed in the complaint was given to Jah-Juin to pass on to Judge Thorne.
* Keith mentioned the subcommittee’s discussion to create a standardized complaint form. Leticia mentioned that Sid will be working on this.
* The complaint process was discussed and Dan Becker noted that the Judicial Conduct Commission is the appeals process in this incident and that the Commission conducting a separate investigation might be overstepping the bounds of what the Commission. Dan suggested that the purpose of the Commission, in instances such as this, would be educating individuals/ groups on the complaints processes already in place. Mike Zimmerman added the Commission should be able to act as a conduit to route complaints to the proper place. There was informal/ general consensus from the Commission members present.
* Leticia mentioned that the Commission’s role in the complaints process would be to examine trends and aggregate complaints.
* Ed added that the Commission can help bring complaints "into the light of day," to ensure that specific agencies do respond to specific complaints that have been brought to the Commission’s attention.
* Kal stated that the Commission needs to have teeth, that without authority the Commission would be a "paper tiger."
* Mike Zimmerman mentioned that though there is not statutory authority, the Commission does have the annual report as a mechanism to report specific agencies that may be ignoring racial and ethnic fairness.
* It was also noted that criticism is not the only tool in dealing with agencies. Carolina stated that the advisory council will be thanking agencies and law enforcement individuals who are making an effort toward racial and ethnic fairness.
Sid Groll to create a standardized complaint form for law enforcement agencies
3d. Indigent Defense (Anthony Smith)
* Anthony mentioned that education was the key area of focus identified at the last subcommittee meeting.
* Paul Boyden suggested that the subcommittee should probably meet again, soon. He also noted that there are currently a few other committees examining the possibility of a statewide legal defenders association.
* Keith stated that the Operations Committee will discuss this issue at their next meeting.
Indigent Defense subcommittee should meet
3e. Recruitment (Dan Becker)
* The subcommittee has formulated a plan to create a law enforcement "recruitment group" to target minority youth between 18–21 yrs old. The group will act as mentors/ training liaisons to prepare the youth for a career in law enforcement.
* A letter has been sent to all Chiefs of Police and Sheriffs in the state requesting that they submit a name of an officer to work on the subcommittee’s recruitment group.
* Initial response has not been overwhelming, as expected. The subcommittee will send out a secondary letter and it is expected that the group will be formed by the next Commission meeting on Dec. 3.
* The subcommittee will also be conducting a focus group to target the juvenile court and youth corrections. It is expected that this focus group will be conducted on Dec. 3.
Recruitment subcommittee to send out a second request for volunteers to the recruitment group for law enforcement.
Recruitment subcommittee to conduct focus group on December 3
4. Request for Proposals Process (Reg Garff)
* Currently there are no request for proposals in Salt Lake County that address the issue of cultural competency.
* Reg reviewed the sample language created by the Disproportionate Minority Contact Committee (see handout).
* Currently, the Utah Board of Juvenile Justice has begun to assign a 10% cultural competency value on all grant proposals that it receives.
* Reg requested that the Commission endorse this RFP approach.
* A motion was made for the Commission to "endorse the sample Request for Proposal process" presented by Reg Garff. This motion was unanimously approved by the Commission members present.
* Dan Maldonado and Reg Garff will prepare a draft letter in support of a cultural competency component in the RFP process, to be mailed out to agencies. Dan Becker suggested that this letter should provide specific examples to counties rather than being a general letter. There was informal/ general consensus by Commission members.
Dan Maldonado and Reg Garff will prepare a draft letter in support of a cultural competency component in the RFP process, to be mailed out to agencies.
5. Annual Report Discussion (Keith Hamilton)
Commission agencies were reminded that agency responses are due on Nov 3.
A letter will be sent to the legislative auditors requesting that the Commission be able to respond to parts of the audit of the AOC concerning the Task Force and that additionally the Commission response be included in the final audit. There was informal/ general consensus from the Commission members present.
6. Brown v. Board of Education- 50th anniversary celebration (John Adams)
* Three specific areas on Commission involvement for the Brown v. Board celebration activities were identified: 1) A Commission panel in conjunction with a rotating film to discuss issues relating to Brown v. Board; 2) An Op/Ed to be submitted by the Commission to the five major state newspapers; 3) Commission input on the two-page newspaper insert to be created by the State Bar.
* This is an opportunity to introduce the Commission to the community as well as gain free publicity.
* The celebration activities will be near the annual report release date, providing an additional opportunity for publicity.
* A motion was made that the "Commission participate with the Utah State Bar on the 50th anniversary activities of Brown v. Board of Education." The motion was unanimously approved by the Commission members present.
* Judge Medley and Jesse Gallegos has both volunteered to be on the Commission panel.
Commission members interested in participating with the Brown v. Board activities should contact John Adams or Keith Hamilton.
7. Next Meeting
* Our November meeting is scheduled for WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 3, 2003. The date was changed from the 4th Monday due to the Thanksgiving holiday.