Parole realignment continues to be a major topic of conversation within our department and statewide. Some local agencies, such as the district attorneys’, have come out publicly questioning the feasibility of transferring parolee to the counties. The Los Angeles County Sheriff has actively supported the proposed change. The recurring statement I hear from legislators is that the counties can handle these cases better because they are “local”. I don’t know what that means, but I heard it again this week when a local assemblyman spoke to a group of probation officers and said they could supervise parolees better because they are from the communities.
There have been a number of parole agents throughout the state that have been engaged at a local level meeting with their legislators and educating them on what parole agents do and how we are “local” staff. We live and work in our communities and know the resources and law enforcement within our jurisdictions. I want to thank all of you that have taken the time to personally contact your senators and assembly members to discuss our profession and why we are the best “local” staff to continue supervising parolees. If you have not done so, please take the time to talk to your local legislators. Our profession is under attack and we need to educate those that do not know what we do.
I have been attending Senate and Assembly budget hearings for Subcommittee 5 (CDCR). It is frustrating that no one from DAPO management has made any attempt at these hearings to discuss our profession and the positive aspect of ensuring public safety while working to assist parolees in successfully returning to their communities after being sentenced to state prison.
There is still no Employee Opportunity Transfer (EOT) and no “valid” EOTs have occurred for many years. There will be negotiations on Sideletter 19 (EOT) March 11th, but the proposed policy will reduce current language from twelve times a year to one. There are other restrictions that will decimate all the work we did to get this benefit for the members, 11 years ago, in the last contract. It is the part of Implemented Terms (MOU) that does not cost management anything, but is a positive benefit for our members and would show that labor and management could work together. Unfortunately, there is no current indication that we will be able to preserve this process. I am working with the CCPOA negotiation team to get this held over until the parole aspects of the MOU are negotiated in totality.
The next CCPOA State board meeting should be scheduled in March. The exact date has not yet been announced, but should be posted soon. The budget of CCPOA, the status of the MOU, appeal on the PAAC elections and many other topics will be discussed. You should try to attend as this is your organization and state board allows you to see how CCPOA operates.
I received information that PACT agents in Region I are being redirected and those PACT meetings are being shut down. I have been trying to work with the regional administrator to keep these positions intact. Once providers are cancelled, it is harder to get them back on track. These PACT meetings clearly are a part of the evidenced based processes that DAPO espouses for success of our parolees. Providing services immediately upon release is an important part of a positive reintegration into the community. There are vacancies in PACT positions statewide and some of the existing agents are carrying caseloads, which reduces their time to do what PACT was originally designed to do. There have been work groups to reevaluate and rewrite the duty statement, but no definitive action has been taken.
We had a Field Training Program (FTP) negotiation table in February, but we did not resolve all the workload issues. We will meet again on March 9th. Team members are Todd Gillam, Craig King, Denise Mack and I. The PA IIs that were hired for this program have not all been converted to supervisors. The existing promotions in those positions may not have all been in compliance with the State Personnel Board promotion requirements. The program is scheduled to begin on March 14th after the agents graduate from the academy. This is a pilot program.
The Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) Chapter President Leo Kedzior allowed me to participate with his team on a negotiation table for office closures for DJJ field parole agents. It is related to us because their agents may be coming to DAPO when they lose their positions. Also, the process they are utilizing could be used for our department if we have position reductions in the future. DJJ field parole is scheduled to be eliminated by 2014. However, it seems that with the reduction of juvenile parolees this could occur sooner.
I visited the Bakersfield parole unit that is the pilot program for the New Parole Model. The contract providers for the program are apparently coming to an end of their commitment to the state. Unfortunately, it does not seem that the entire process for the new parole model has been implemented. It is not known if new contracts will be signed to allow the total process to continue. It is uncertain how this parole reform will continue with only partial processes being utilized.
The Consolidated Error Report (CER) continues to generate calls statewide. Agents are being required by their supervisors to change data in CALPAROLE to reduce the error rate. Please note that this database is used by other agencies and falsifying information could be problematic for employees. I continue to inform Robert Ambroselli of this and he assures me he is monitoring it. Agents have been told me that the information is sometimes just entered for the day the report is generated and then corrected. Please let me know if this is occurring in your area. Internal affairs investigations are occurring for falsifying information, so do not allow this to happen to you.
The next PAAC meeting is:
APRIL 9, 2011
HOLIDAY INN CAPITOL PLAZA
300 J STREET
SACRAMENTO, CA 95814
Chuck Alexander is planning on attending and I am trying to schedule a local legislator also to speak to us.