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Civil Grand Jury reports (Volume 1976-77) online

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The program is designed to benefit elderly victims (over
55), victims of rape and domestic violence. Services to witnesses
include orientation as to procedures in court, and assistance in
getting to court appearances.



This program is currently providing assistance to about
225 persons monthly. Its facilities at 560-7th Street lack privacy
for interviewing victims, and sufficient space for training vol-
unteers, who are an essential element in the success of this pro-

This new program is already providing a needed service
to victims of violent crime in San Francisco.


The Public Defender's Office, under the direction of Mr.
Robert Nicco, operates according to the Charter, and is governed
by Section 27706 of the Government Code of the State of California,
Over the years the number of referrals to the Public Defender has
increased. Over 70$ of all misdemeanor and felony cases are re-
ferred to him for a free defense. In addition to permanent staff,
CETA attorneys, volunteers and interns are employed.

Recent Grand Jury Reports, particularly that of the
1975-76 Jury, have covered the problems of the Public Defender
in great detail. The long history of neglect continues. The
office is short of space, equipment, personnel, and travel funds.

Individuals confined to State Hospitals and mental care
homes require visitation and representation. Those under conser-
vatorship must have their cases reviewed every six months. This
area, Mental Health, is under the direction of Estrella Dooley.
She reports that the number of cases under her Jurisdiction in-
creased 70% in fiscal year 1976-77, or 1,363 cases. About 80*
of the cases involve travel outside of the City and there is the
chronic problem of insufficient funds for travel.

The Public Defender staffs four courts at the Youth
Guidance Center. Mr. Gregory Bonfilio heads this activity. With
a staff which includes 5 to 10 law students, and 5 CETA attorneys,
Mr. Bonfilio is coping well with an increasingly heavy workload.

Despite the well-known poor working conditions and
shortages, the Public Defender continues to provide high quality
legal assistance to those in need of his services. The Grand
Jury commends Mr. Nicco and his staff for excellent work under
difficult conditions.



The areas of involvement and responsibilities of the
Sheriff's Department are management and operation of the City
and County Jails, courtroom security and the Citil Division.

The elected Sheriff, Richard Hongisto, left the
department on December H», 1977, in good order, to Undersheriff
Jim Denman, to manage until a new Sheriff was appointed.
Eugene Brown was appointed Sheriff on February 2k , 1978 by the
Mayor. It is the opinion of the Civil Grand Jury that Sheriff
Brown has a tremendous source of information from his present
staff. His background as patrolman (on the beat), and community
relations specialist for the San Francisco Police Department
will give him additional insight into Jail personalities. He
works very well with Undersheriff Jim Denman. Mr. Hongisto
has made himself available to Sheriff Brown for any information
that he may need.

In fiscal year 1977-78 the Sheriff's Department lived
with a bare bones budget of $10,370,59**. of which 85* was
earmarked for salaries. Total staff numbered 387 sworn and
unsworn employees; they are budgeted for M05.

The deputy sheriffs assigned to work the Jails undergo
extensive education and training before and during their Jobs
in the Jail environment. The philosophy of humane treatment
of inmates is an ongoing concern of the management and staff.


Jail No. 6 at the Hall of Justice, handles approxi-
mately 90,000 people a year who have been accused of misdemeanors
and/or felonies. Here they await preliminary hearings and court
dates. The arrestees are booked and processed from one major
holding cell, where misdemeanors and felonies are grouped
together until fully processed. The mixing of the two types of
accused is a problem that the press has fully indicated in their
reports. Another problem with the holding cell is that there is
only one small window to observe the arrestees. Some of these
people may be quite violent or mentally imbalanced, and can be
harmful to themselves and others. This kii <i of situation could
go unnoticed under present physical conditions. For example,
there was an unobserved death of a young man on May 15, 1978,
in this holding cell. Only through the attention of another
arrestee was the death brought to the attention of the deputies.
An arrestee, depending on the number in the holding cell, can
spend from 15 minutes to 12 hours in the cell, until he is


SHERIFF (continued)

We observed a drunk in the "topper" (drunk) tank
lying on the bare concrete floor with no mattress or blanket;
it was explained that the subject did not want any. Regardless
of the situation, it is the feeling of this Jury that he should
have had these items available to him to prevent extreme loss
of body heat resulting in possible medical complications.

The isolation cells are to be used for an inmate's
own protection against himself or others due to "coming down"
from drugs or psychotic behavior. They are also used upon
request by inmates who want to set themselves apart from the
rest of the Jail population. These cells are not padded,
creating a possibility of self-inflicted injury. The deputies
check the cells every half hour and log it in the office's book.
The system opens a possibility of neglecting a visual check
but still logging it. The only assurance of any check is the
periodic nurse check, and in the morning a check by a doctor.

In general, the lighting conditions in Jail No. 6's
cells are very poor, as is the availability of reading material.

The accessibility of phones to the 400 inmates is
inadequate. Prisoner's Services come in twice a week to help
with the phone problem, but is still not enough to help the
deputies with the communicative needs.

Recreation for the inmates is non-existent.

Jail No. 1 on the 7th floor of the Hall of Justice,
houses federal and City and County prisoners awaiting trial
in Superior Court. The Sheriff's department receives twenty-one
dollars per day for each federal prisoner. This money goes to
the City's general fund, of which 25* of it goes to the Special
Maintenance Fund for Jail improvements.

This Jail seemed to be in order; overall cleanliness
and organization were good. The four isolation cells in this
Jail are padded and the inmates here are checked daily at
8:00 A.M. by a nurse and every half hour by deputies. Here,
as in No. 6, the possibility of neglect by a deputy to ignore
a check is repeated.

Limited recreation is available in the Jail's chapel,
where there is a universal gym that the prisoners can use.
However, the space is inadequate. The "recreation area" is
limited to 24 inmates at a time. Exercise is available two hours
a day from 9:30 A.M. to 11:30 A.M. Each group is allowed one
hour; therefore only 48 out of a Jail population of approxi-
mately 350 inmates exercise on a given day. This means that an
inmate has an opportunity for only one day of exercise per week.


SHERIFF (continued)

Presently there Is a study being made to convert an
existing helicopter pad on the roof to an outside recreation
area. Money for conversion Is being sought through Capital
Improvement Funds.

A major problem of an outside recreation area, which
demands careful study, Is the need for good security.

We concur that recreation is badly needed but we also
realize that the City has to deal first with highest economic

Jail No. 3

The women's Jail on the seventh floor of the Hall
of Justice involves prisoners in both Municipal and Superior
dourt cases. This facility appeared to be In good, clean order.
There are eight large cells which were very nicely decorated.
The atmosphere seemed pleasant. There Is good lighting and
one universal gym, located in a central back niche, as their
only source of exercise. This appears to be inadequate for the
number of female inmates. At last report, the area was Just

The Work Furlough Programs for State, City and County
are located for the applicable men and women offenders at 930
Bryant Street and on the 6th floor of the Hall of Justice,

The programs are oriented to selected inmates who
are permitted to leave confinement for employment or to pursue
education or vocational endeavors. Its main feature, aside
from being a tax saving, is that an inmate is allowed to main-
tain his employment, support his family and handle other
monetary obligations. Work furloughees pay $3.00 per day for
administrative costs and provide for their own meals at a
restaurant of their choosing. This program in essence allows
the inmate to choose a responsible attitude as to his or her
placement in society.

The men's Work Furlough Program was offically begun
and budgeted for in 1968. The women's Furlough Program is state-
mandated but has not been budgeted. It exists out of the
Sheriff's budget. To date budget requests have failed for
the women's Work Furlough Program.

We commend Mr. Marvin R. Pugh, Director of Work
Furlough Program for his good work. There was an 83% success-
ful adjustment rate in 1977.


SHERIFF (continued)

Jail No. 2 and No. *t

Jail No. 2 (Men's) and No. 4 (Women 1 s) in San Bruno
are built on 110 acres of country land. Its purpose is to
house up to 700 men and 50 women who have been sentenced for
less than one year. San Bruno also services surrounding
counties' prisoners for $21.00 a day. These fees along with
the previously mentioned federal prisoners' fees have generated
$180,000 for Jail improvements.

The men's Jail is currently undergoing plans for a
new visitor's room to replace their circa 1935 cage-like room.
This $92,000 funded improvement will provide non-contact and
contact visiting. Contact visiting seems to be a national
trend in Jails, which is one of several innovations in the Jail
system to help create more humanization, responsibility and
less dependence on imprisonment as a life style. The visiting
room will also serve as a lunch area for deputies and a class
conference area. With the present 80* Jail recidivism rate,
any tool to help cut it down is welcomed.

San Bruno's educational program is excellent; its
emphasis is on the removal of barriers to learning. The
program is co-ed and is run by a specialist from Mission
Community College. The success rate of this program is very
high and one high school credit unit is given per 15 hours of
instruction. They teach basic skills (reading, writing, etc.)
with typing and a Jail newspaper to augment the program.

The Prisoner's Assistance Program located in the men's
Jail provides a wide range of services to both Jails. Its
team of 15 staff and 60 CETA supply assistance in bio-feedback,
paralegal services, child legal services, transcendental
meditation, drug and alcohol services, etc. The Jury found
this program commendable.

Since the funding of $192,000 to Jail No. 2 in
1976-77 for its "poorly equipped medical facilities , nothing
has been physically done. These funds are presently being
held back for possible better use in Jail No. 2 and other Jail
medical facilities. The Sheriff's Department is looking into
having its illegal "Squirrel Cages" phased out and replaced by
5 to 6 "Seclusion Cells" to be built in its infirmary. In late
May 1978, it was estimated that these cells may cost $30,000
each. Because of the present high cost, the Sheriff may have
to seek additional federal funds through the L.E.A.A. This will
probably delay the improvements of the Jail's medical facilities,

Jail No. 2 has 10 inmates and one civilian chef


SHERIFF ( continued)

to cook Jail No. 4's and Its own food. The food services have
greatly Improved from Its previously poor quality and short
rations. With the funding of a total of $1,010,000 for the
City's Jails, It has raised the previously budgeted 56 cents
per meal to 76 cents, and changed the Jails' food service
administrator. Better planning has been instigated to allow
for the rise in food costs, menus and nutritional requirements.
Undersheriff Jim Denman is looking into a pre-packaging food
program for the Jails. It is estimated that a 5% savings would
result because of equal portions.

Jail #H is in need of a phone that works for only
local calls. At present, it has one pay phone that demands
the attention of a deputy to prevent long distant phone charges
to the Jail. This Jury recommends a better phone as mentioned
above; this will aid in better utilization of the deputy's time
and the department's money.

This Jail appeared clean and orderly. The women's
cells reflected more privacy and self expression in the cells'
decor. There is adequate recreation through the alternate
use of the recreational field with the men in Jail No. 2.

The Grand Jury would like to note, that the San
Bruno Jails as well as the Jails at the Hall of Justice prescribe

drugs for "pain" to over 50$ of their inmates. The main drug
that is used is Darvocet. Dr. Peters and Dr. Waters of the
County Jails Medical Services have been informed of this find-
ing and it is hoped that proper attention will be focused in
this area. We understood that the doctors working in this area
are left up to their own "subjective" decision, but it is the
Jury's opinion that the Administrative Medical Officials should
be aware of this too.

Proper distribution of drugs is a problem in the Jails
and, at present, the Sheriff's Department is investigating a
plastic prisoner labeling system to improve the security in
this area.

Security Ward - San Francisco General Hospital

The Security Ward at San Francisco General Hospital
has a capacity of 23 beds and provides to its patients (2/3
medical and 1/3 psychiatric) medical care equal to that pro-
vided to the rest of the hospital's patients. It has an
excellent T.V. camera security system that switches automatically
from the ward to the front door and back when a person approaches
the entrance.


SHERIFF (continued)

The Jury commends Lieutenant Edgar Flowers and his
staff of 22 deputies for their devotion; many of them go over-
time, without additional pay, to complete their security work.
Overtime funds have been depleted. The deputies also provide
emergency help when needed to the rest of the hospital.

This ward is to be replaced by a new and improved
Security Ward, 7D, in September of 1978. Other County Sheriffs
have viewed this 21 bed capacity facility to study its innova-
tive security features: special T.V. scans, walls, windows, etc

The new ward will have one-half coverage in special
security windows because of lack of funds and high cost. Lieu-
tenant Flowers has emphasized that the preeent planned window
system leaves a possibility of escapes. It is suggested that
the City will be "penny wise and a pound foolish" if it doesn't
correct this while the ward is still being constructed. To
date, the funds have been denied.

Court Room Security

The Sheriff's Department supplies the Municipal and
Superior Courts with 82 Senior Deputies to provide courtroom
security. The current use of senior deputy sheriffs for court-
room bailiffs reveals illogical use of experience and training
by this department as compared to other counties. This situa-
tion has sparked ideas by the Sheriff's Department's top people
to correct this problem. This observation has caused an
inter-departmental look into the entire bailiff system. The
problem, being a cause and effect of Citil Service, would have
to be changed legally.

One problem that is general knowledge to many, and
should be changed, is that since a high percentage of senior
deputies work a **0 hour week, 8 A.M. to 5 P.M. with weekends
off and most bailiffs work this way, the work schedule does
not match the court's schedule. This situation consequently
creates the use of overtime in order to provide service to the
courts and a waste of time and money spent during the hours
when the bailiff is not yet needed in court.

Senior deputies in the bailiff system, age group of
30 to 40 years, who have accumulated a grea t deal of sick leave
tend to use it very often. Because of their age, they tend to
be out on Job related disabilities. These two facts create
absences, thus a need for filling the bailiff position for a
period of time, robs the Jail system of personnel, in order to
provide services to the courts.


SHERIFF (continued)

It has been suggested that the bailiff system should
be legally changed In order to provide service to the courts
without the use of overtime; a change of bailiff's work time
schedule is all that is needed in this area. In addition,
time on the Job would be more productive.

Another suggestion is to abolish the present bailiff
system whereby using the 82 bailiffs, senior deputy status, as
supervisorial personnel at the Jails, but still to be used in
the courts as bailiffs on a rotating basis with the other
deputies in the department. This rotating system would reduce
cost in training and overtime. It would also give an overall
opportunity for all deputies to be relieved of Jail environment
at one time or another, creating a feeling of fairness through-
out the department.

Civil Division

This division of the Sheriff's Department supplies
services for collection for creditors, keeper levies on busi-
nesses, civil arrests and auto seizures, garnishment and evic-
tions. Through its collections, by court writs in the above
areas, it disbursed, for 1976-77, ?3» 335*7^3 to creditors,
of which $22^,831 were deposited in the County General Fund as
fees collected for these services. This activity is an exclu-
sive service rendered to the taxpayer without the costly dupli-
cation common to many counties which have Sheriffs, Marshals
and Constables, each duplicating the functions of others.

Although this division has had no budgetary increases
for several years, it has been able to handle the work load
with its staff of 20 and 11 deputies. It processed 42,892
services for 1976-77.

The Civil Division is an "economic indicator" of our
times and it is predicted that the effect of Proposition 13 will
greatly increase this division's work load because of the
possibility of increased unemployment.

Evictions have grown to 1,400 a year. Sheriff Brown
has been monitoring this area and it is his opinion that a new
volunteer community relations unit be created to help "people
facing evictions find alternative housing, to put them in touch
with social services agencies and to tackle other problems they
might have". This unit would operate before the court-ordered

Edward J. Sosa
Ronald P. Rubia

Robert D. Au, Chairman



The Assessor is responsible for appraising over
180,000 properties, worth more than $13 billion, and process-
ing these appraisals into an assessment roll. This provides
the major source of revenue for the City and County, the San
Francisco Unified School District and the Community College
Board .

The California State Board of Equalization is
mandated to survey the performance of the Assessor's Office
every six years. The Report of a survey made in 1976 was
released in March 1978. It states that there has been improve-
ment since the time of the previous survey in 1970. Many of
their recommendations have been implemented, at least in part,
but they believe that "more could and should have been
accomplished". They doubted, however, that all the 1970
recommendations could have been implemented without more
budgetary support.

The latest report makes 25 specific recommendations.
Within one year of publication, the Assessor is required to
provide the Board of Supervisors a written explanation of the
extent to which he has complied with these recommendations.
Based in part upon this report , the Assessor requested 2h
additional people, including 10 appraisers and 10 assessment
clerks. This request has been cut from the budget.

Prior to passage of Proposition 13, the approved
budget for the Assessor totaled $3,63*1,326, an increase over
the current year of $277,159, or 8t, and included 128 personnel.
By comparison, if the Assessor had received the extra personnel
requested, his budget would have increased 26X, to $1* ,238,684.

Under provisions of Proposition 13, the new assess-
ment roll must be completed by August 1st, and the Assessor
will have difficulty meeting this deadline. For example,
there have been an estimated 43,000 transfers or sales of
property since the 1975-76 tax roll which is the base year
under Proposition 13. These properties will have to be
reappraised to establish their current value.

We would like to express our appreciation to the
Assessor, Mr. Joseph Tinney, and his staff for their fine
cooperation with the Grand Jury.



The Treasurer, Mr. Thomas Scanlon, Is responsible
for the safekeeping of all money and securities belonging to
the City and County. His office handles the daily receipts
and disbursements, and also invests surplus money in order to
earn as much income as possible. The estimated income from
these investments for this year is $24 ,667 ,**86 , at an average
rate of interest of 6.55X. For comparison, last years' rate
of return was 5.86%.

Two computer systems, Moneymax and Telerate, provide
the Treasurer with up to the minute information on the best
investment possibilities.

It should be noted that thousands of dollars in
interest are lost unnecessarily when departments receiving
checks do not immediately turn them over to the Treasurer.
For example, a two million dollar Federal subsidy check held
over a weekend undeposited would lose a thousand dollars in

The Grand Jury would like to thank Mr. Scanlon and
his staff for their cooperation, and commend them for efforts
to improve the cash management of the City and County.

Joseph McKinley
Michael J. O'Brien

Margarita V. Tallerico, Chairman



The Adult Probation Department, located in the Hall of
Justice, is headed by the Chief Adult Probation Officer, Walter
Morse. The department deals with convicted felons, misdemeanants,
pre-trial investigation, and community programs. The department
operated on a budget of $2,2*4 7,000 last year.

A great deal of reorganization took place in the de-
partment last year. The need for more supervisory personnel was
filled by trading three senior line officer positions for two
supervising officer positions, and the upgrading of a clerical
position to clerk supervisor. This gave the department nine
supervising probation officers.

The Superior Court and Municipal Court investigating
and report writing staffs, which had been separate, were combined
to provide adequate staff for all such functions performed by the
department .

The Community Services Division, which performs super-
vision of probationers was changed from six units of one supervis-
ing officer and eight line officers to five units of one supervis-
ing officer and an average of seven line officers . The division
has four units assigned to the City, and one out of the City. The
City units are assigned fewer cases to provide better service to
residents. The geographical division of the units was set up to
provide economic and efficient service, and to improve neighbor-
hood relations. Unfortunately, this proved to be less than ideal
because of the transience of the City's population. Cases are now
first assigned geographically and are not reassigned if a client
moves to a different neighborhood.

The problems encountered by the department are fairly
common to many City departments. They are:

1. Lack of space

2. Poor equipment

3. Lack of clerical staff

l». Poor morale, due to the Civil Service problem

Many times an officer must share interview space with
another officer. This creates a lack of privacy and confidential-
ity for the probationer.

Much of the department's equipment is very old and in
constant need of repair.



The officers are responsible for the writing, and fre-
quently typing of numerous lengthy reports . The poor quality and
limited availability of typewriters causes a delay In this process.
It Is felt that officers should be freed from the writing and typ-
ing of reports to concentrate on Investigation and supervision of

Online LibraryCalifornia. Grand Jury (San Francisco)Civil Grand Jury reports (Volume 1976-77) → online text (page 21 of 32)