The Shasta County Grand Jurors' Association is a nonprofit 501(c)3 public charity (EIN# 20-8389473)

©2020 by Shasta County Grand Jurors' Association. Proudly created with Wix.com

​​These are the Summaries, Findings, Commendations, Recommendations, and Requests for Responses only. For the full Report, click here. Alternatively, all of the full Reports including this one can be found on the Shasta County Grand Jury's website here.

 

2014 - 2015

Shasta County Grand Jury

Shasta Strong

- Turf Troubles in River City


- Meth and Heroin Plagues Shasta County Life - A Trip You Never Want to Take


- Keeping Children Safe and Families Together


- Shasta County Jail: Catch and Release


- Shasta County Juvenile Rehabilitation Facility


- Sugar Pine Conservation Camp - An Opportunity For Success


- 2014/2015 Shasta County Audit


- Looking Back - Responses to the Shasta County Grand Jury Report Fiscal Year 2013-2014


- Redding Police Department - Commendation

 

Turf Troubles in River City

SUMMARY


The Soccer Park Lease to manage the Redding Soccer Park has existed since 2007 between the COR (Landlord) and the non-profit SRSA (Tenant). The Soccer Park Lease clearly identifies responsibilities of each party and includes a ”Replacement Fund” clause for replacing the turf on the playing fields, the subdrain system, maintenance of the Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning system (HVAC) and the parking lot. The investigation focused on the current condition of the playing fields and the Soccer Park Lease. Our investigation concluded several findings of fact:

  • The turf and sub-structure needs to be replaced;

  • There is little money available to replace the turf;

  • The terms of the lease have not been enforced;

  • There has never been an audit of SRSA financial records by the COR;

  • There has been inadequate Soccer Park Lease oversight by the COR; and

  • The COR and the SRSA have no viable plan(s) to replace the fields.


FINDINGS


F1. The turf for each of the four soccer fields needs to be replaced within two-three years;

F2. There is insufficient money in the “Replacement Fund” to replace the turf;

F3. Several amendments to the original Soccer Park Lease over five years have not resulted in adequate monies to the Replacement Fund;

F4. The COR has failed to perform its fiduciary duty to its citizens to protect the $10 million investment required by the original Soccer Park Lease with amendments;

F5. There has never been an audit of the SRSA’s financial records of monies received, expended and available for the “Replacement Fund”; and

F6. The pending litigation by the COR is not a guaranteed solution to obtain funds for turf replacement and drainage repair.


RECOMMENDATIONS


R1. The COR shall conduct a forensic audit of SRSA’s financial records between 2007 and 2014 by January 15, 2016.

R2. The COR shall develop by October 1, 2015 a strategy to replace the turf that is not dependent on pending litigation or the current Soccer Park Lease dated September 26, 2012.

R3. The COR shall establish a viable business plan for the soccer park that would provide a sustainable operation by October 1, 2015.

R4. The COR shall provide accurate accounting to the City Council and the public annually by August 15 of each year for compliance with the fiscal Soccer Park Lease terms.


REQUEST FOR RESPONSES

Redding City Council:

F2 through F4

R1 through R5


Redding City Manager (invited):

F1, F5

R4

 

Methamphetamine and Heroin Plague Shasta County Life

A "Trip" You Never Want To Take

SUMMARY


The detrimental impact of substance abuse on Shasta County overburdens city and county governments, family-life and community structure. This report provides information about the depth and breadth of the methamphetamine (meth) and heroin problems and the challenges to combat them:

  • Substance abuse is a multigenerational problem in Shasta County;

  • Meth use has plagued Shasta County for decades;

  • Heroin use is rapidly increasing; and

  • Reduced staffing has hindered law enforcement’s ability to effectively deal with the large scale distribution and sale of controlled substances in this county.


Collaborative efforts are needed among all agencies within the criminal justice system including rehabilitation programs and opportunities to combat the drug problem. Assembly Bill (AB) 109 and voter passed Proposition 47 contribute to the challenge of law enforcement’s ability to combat drug sales, distribution and use. On the other hand, AB 109 and Proposition 47 emphasize the need for treatment, as well as, enforcement.

FINDINGS


F1. The abuse of meth and heroin has serious often long-term destructive physical and mental effects on the users and their families. Medical, social, and psychological services and law enforcement are strained;

F2. Shasta County needs more drug treatment, rehabilitation services and drug education for abusers, their families and the community to reduce drug abuse and strengthen life skills of those most at risk; and

F3. County and city law enforcement, as currently staffed, are unable to fully combat drug abuse.


COMMENDATIONS


C1. The Grand Jury commends the Anderson Police Department and the City of Anderson for proactively obtaining funds through grants and two separate ballot measures to put three more police officers on the streets and form the Anderson Problem Oriented Policing Unit (POP). They also plan to return a police officer to a county-wide task force, Shasta County Interagency Narcotics Task Force (SINTF).


RECOMMENDATIONS


R1. The Grand Jury recommends that the Shasta County Board of Supervisors collaborate with the city councils of Redding, Anderson and City of Shasta Lake, the business communities, service organizations, school districts and others throughout the county to provide early drug education programs (i.e. Montana Meth Project, www.montanameth.org) including an educational media campaign.

R2. The Grand Jury recommends that the Shasta County Board of Supervisors and city councils seek funding through grants and ballot propositions to increase treatment and rehabilitation services.

R3. The Grand Jury recommends that the Shasta County Board of Supervisors collaborate with city councils to seek funding through grants and ballot propositions to maintain and increase law enforcement staff to combat illegal drugs.


REQUEST FOR RESPONSES


Shasta County Board of Supervisors:

F1 through F3

R1 through R3


Redding, Anderson and Shasta Lake City Councils:

F1 through F3

R1 through R3

Shasta County Sheriff:

F3

R3


Chief Executive Officer of Shasta County (invited):

F1 through F3

R1 through R3


City Managers of Redding, Anderson and City of Shasta Lake (invited):

F1 through F3

R1 through R3

 

Keeping Children Safe and Families Together

SUMMARY


The Shasta County Grand Jury is concerned about keeping children safe. Substantiated child abuse rates for Shasta County are more than double the rate of California as a whole.


The Grand Jury looked at the responsibilities and challenges of the Children’s Services Branch of the Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA). This agency works with some of our most at risk children. They are responsible for investigating allegations of child abuse, keeping children safe, supervising foster care placements, providing children’s wellness services, coordinating health care and providing mental health services for the children of Shasta County.


The Grand Jury found that:

  • The difficulty of recruiting and retaining social workers has resulted in chronic vacancies, high case loads, stressed workers, and a reduced ability to find permanent placements for children in a timely fashion;

  • When the on-call social worker takes custody of a child after hours the potential for an unsafe situation exits;

  • Law enforcement, Children’s Services Branch, and hospital emergency rooms are strained due to the lack of adequate mobile crisis response units and the absence of inpatient psychiatric beds for children.


The Grand Jury looked into these findings and made recommendations regarding staffing, policies, recruitment policies and community partnerships.

FINDINGS


F1. The job of a children’s social worker is a difficult and demanding one, and Shasta County’s lower than state average pay, and higher than state average caseload add to this pressure. This increases the challenge of recruiting and retaining qualified social workers.

F2. The short-staffing of the Children’s Services Branch, combined with Shasta County's high level of substantiated child abuse and neglect cases, has reduced the Children’s Services Branch’s ability to find permanent placements in a timely fashion for children who need them. Shasta County has only been able to place 76% (down from 83% in 2012) of children needing permanent placement within three years compared to a state-wide average of 86%.

F3. Social workers and children are put in unsafe situations because of the after-hours oversight of children taken into temporary custody. Children’s Services Branch policy allows a social worker to take temporary custody of children from law enforcement and remain in the office before another on-call worker is available.

F4. There is a need for an expanded mobile response unit with personnel who can access critical health information and screen patients to serve the extensive rural areas. It would reduce the strain on law enforcement and emergency rooms.

F5. The lack of local inpatient psychiatric beds for children strains emergency room resources and causes stress to children in crisis and to their families.

F6. The lack of a temporary teen shelter has put an undue burden on the Children’s Services Branch.

F7. Community partnerships with organizations such as One Safe Place, the Child Abuse Prevention Coordinating Council, and First Five have resulted in quality parental support and education resources. The Brave Faces program and the Parent Leadership Advisory Group in particular should be commended for their efforts.

F8. Branch directors, clinicians and social workers work with each other and with other agencies as an effective team to deal with children and families in crisis. This team approach has had a positive effect on the morale of the staff and effectiveness of the department.


RECOMMENDATIONS


R1. The Grand Jury recommends that within six months, Shasta County Personnel Services work with HHSA to develop an ongoing strategy to aggressively recruit and fill social worker vacancies. The “Grow Your Own” Program should continue to be fully supported as part of this process.

R2. The Grand Jury recommends that as Child Welfare funding is expected to increase in the next year, the Shasta County Board of Supervisors look for opportunities to increase the social workers’ compensation package.

R3. The Grand Jury recommends that within six months, the Health and Human Services Agency revise its policy to ensure that on-call social workers have immediate access to a second social worker or family worker when dealing with crisis situations after hours so that two people are in the office and the situation is safe for both workers and children.

R4. The Grand Jury recommends that within six months, the Shasta County Board of Supervisors develop a strategy to contract with a local provider for inpatient psychiatric beds for children.

R5. The Grand Jury recommends that within six months, the Health and Human Services Agency continue to search and apply for grant funds to expand its mobile crisis unit.

R6. The Grand Jury recommends that within one year, the Shasta County Housing Authority, Redding Housing Department, and Health and Human Services Agency partner to develop a plan for funding and staffing one or more teen shelters to offer emergency services to teens in crisis. Non-profit organizations such as One Safe Place and CAPCC should be invited to participate in this plan.


REQUEST FOR RESPONSES


Shasta County Board of Supervisors:

F1 through F6

R1 through R6


Redding City Council:

F6

R6


Director of Shasta County Personnel Services (invited):

F1

R1, R2


Director of Health and Human Services Agency (invited):

F1 through F6

R1 through R5


Redding Housing Manager (invited):

F6

R6

 

After School Programs Keep Kids Safe, Involved and Out of Trouble

SUMMARY


Poverty, homelessness, and substance abuse are increasing in Shasta County. Our children are the most vulnerable. As our community explores possible solutions to these complex issues, we need to look to the future and break the cycle of dysfunction for the next generation. Improving the lives of children will have long-term positive effects. Many children have few resources and difficult home situations. At-risk children need more opportunities for connection with caring adults, help with homework, and safe, stimulating activities. After school programs provide these.


This concern prompted the Grand Jury to investigate the availability and accessibility of after school programs. Major university studies show that well-implemented, dynamic after school programs have a positive impact on disadvantaged children. There is evidence that these programs not only provide a safe place for children, but also reduce juvenile crime and improve students’ academic performance. Constructive after school activities can transform the prime time for juvenile crime -- between 3:00 P.M. and 6:00 P.M. -- into a time of opportunity and promise. The Grand Jury took a close look at three programs: Shasta County Office of Education’s Project SHARE, the Redding School District’s after school program, and the Anderson Teen Center.


We found many examples of excellent programs and dedicated staff at the program sites we visited. Some community members have partnered with schools to sponsor and support these programs. We did find, however, that opportunities for partnership may not be as actively developed as they might be. We found that there are barriers to access for disadvantaged children because of limited space and waiting lists. We also found that in most areas of the county, disadvantaged teens lack access to any form of formal after school program or activities.


This report makes recommendations regarding recruitment policies, advertising staff positions, creating community partnerships and exploring opportunities for establishing a teen outreach program for Redding.

FINDINGS


F1. The California After School Education and Safety Grant (ASES) is designed to support disadvantaged students. Redding School District has made this a priority of its program; Shasta County Office of Education has not. Project SHARE’s current sign-up process does not ensure that the neediest students have access to the after school programs.

F2. The large turnover of after school workers interferes with the over-all effectiveness of after school programs. Vacancies can result in waiting lists and unserved children.

F3. It is difficult to find qualified staff for after school programs. Advertising is not specific, does not use all available media, and does not target a wide applicant pool from various age groups and backgrounds.

F4. Shasta County Office of Education’s Project SHARE has minimal partnerships with other agencies such as law enforcement, parks and recreation departments, health organizations, and local corporations and non-profits. Those that exist are effective.

F5. Teens in the south county benefit from the Teen Center in Anderson and after school programs at Anderson High School and West Valley High School.

F6. Within the City of Redding there is no teen center and no formal after school programs are offered at local high schools. There is a lack of accessible programs to attract teenagers and involve them in organized activities after school.

F7. Shasta County is fortunate that school districts and the Shasta County Office of Education had the vision to apply early for ASES and 21st Century grants. Not all schools in California have access to these after school programs.


COMMENDATIONS


C1. Family Literacy Night is a good example of a startup partnership and could be a model for the development of further partnerships.

C2. Anderson High School’s after school program has made a positive impact on the community.

C3. The Anderson Teen Center provides an accessible program that appeals to teenagers and should be duplicated throughout the county.


RECOMMENDATIONS


R1. The Grand Jury recommends that Shasta County Office of Education revise its Project SHARE after school policies and practices prior to the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year, giving priority to disadvantaged students in compliance with the intent of the ASES and 21st Century Grants.

R2. The Grand Jury recommends that by August 1, 2015, the Human Resources Departments of Shasta County Office of Education and the Redding School District advertise after school positions specifically, creatively and aggressively, targeting a wide applicant pool and utilizing all media sources available.

R3. The Grand Jury recommends that the Shasta County Superintendent of Schools and the Director of Project SHARE actively pursue partnerships beginning in the first quarter of school year 2015-2016. As part of this effort, they should request assistance from the California State Regional Lead for Region 2 for training and advice on how to accomplish this.

R4. The Grand Jury recommends that by January 1, 2016, the City of Redding convene a task force to explore possibilities for establishing a teen center or teen outreach program. Possible funding sources include a Community Development Block Grant or housing funds. Community stakeholders including schools, law enforcement, businesses, and non-profit and philanthropic organizations should be invited to participate in the planning process.


REQUEST FOR RESPONSES


Shasta County Superintendent of Schools:

F1 through F4

R1 through R3


Redding Elementary School District Board:

F2, F3

R2


Redding City Council:

F6

R4

 

Shasta County Jail:

"Catch and Release"

SUMMARY

None.

FINDINGS


F1. Overall, the jail is a clean, safe, and secure environment.

F2. Several programs are in place to address the needs of inmates and better prepare them for community re-entry.


COMMENDATIONS


C1. The Grand Jury would like to commend the jail staff for their dedication and the excellent job they do in a difficult and challenging environment.

RECOMMENDATIONS


None.


REQUEST FOR RESPONSES


None.

 

Shasta County Juvenile Rehabilitation Facility

SUMMARY


The new Shasta County Juvenile Rehabilitation Facility (JRF) was opened on January 28, 2014, using funds raised by the issuance of State of California bonds. The JRF is a 24-hour secure detention facility located at 2684 Radio Lane in Redding, adjacent to the old Juvenile Hall. According to their website, the JRF “is a temporary holding facility for minors awaiting court and is operated in accordance with the regulations set forth in the California Minimum Standards for Juvenile Facilities, Title 15.”

FINDINGS


F1. The staff, at the Juvenile Rehabilitation Facility, exhibit a high degree of professionalism and dedication to provide the residents with life skills to be successful after release.

F2. The JRF facility appears to be clean, well-equipped and well-maintained.


COMMENDATIONS


C1. The Grand Jury commends the JRF staff for their commitment to the youth under their care despite the difficult challenges they face.

RECOMMENDATIONS

None.

REQUEST FOR RESPONSES

None.

 

Sugar Pine Conservation Camp

An Opportunity for Success

SUMMARY


Penal Code section 919(b) requires the Grand Jury to inspect the condition and management of all public prisons in Shasta County. Sugar Pine Conservation Camp (Sugar Pine) is the only public prison located in Shasta County.

FINDINGS


F1. The CDCR and CAL-FIRE manage an outstanding prison facility that is clean and well-maintained.

F2. The inmates are offered broad educational opportunities and job skills training that give them the resources to be successful in life upon their release.

F3. Sugar Pine provides free inmate labor on various projects throughout Shasta County. They are also an integral and invaluable part of the wildfire fighting community, saving taxpayers approximately $1.5 million annually.

F4. The staff treats inmates with respect and, in turn, the inmates are expected to interact with staff and each other with respect, integrity and dignity.


RECOMMENDATIONS


None.


REQUEST FOR RESPONSES


None.

 

Looking Back

Responses to the Shasta County Grand Jury Report Fiscal Year 2013-2014

SUMMARY

The 2014-15 Shasta County Grand Jury reviewed the responses from the final report of the 2013- 14 Grand Jury that was published on June 25, 2014. The report issued findings and recommendations from investigations that it had conducted on public agencies. As it relates to the recommendations and findings, California Penal Code section 933.05 requires each responding person or entity of the public agency to (1) agree with a finding of the grand jury, or (2) disagree, wholly or in part, with the findings and include an explanation for their reasons.


Additionally, as to each grand jury recommendation, the responding entity of the public agency shall report in one of the four following actions:

  1. The recommendation has been implemented with a summary regarding the implemented action.

  2. The recommendation has not yet been implemented, but will be implemented in the future, with a time frame for implementation.

  3. The recommendation requires further analysis, with an explanation and the scope and parameters of an analysis or study, and a time frame for the matter to be prepared for discussion by the officer or head of the agency or department being investigated or reviewed, including the governing body of the public agency when applicable. This time frame shall not exceed six months from the date of publication of the grand jury report.

  4. The recommendation will not be implemented because it is not warranted or is not reasonable, with an explanation therefor.


Although the responses were submitted in a timely manner, some of the Shasta County Department of Resource Management, Not in My Backyard and Redding Area Bus Authority, Wheels on the Bus responses failed to meet the statutory requirements of Penal Code section 933.05 for the reasons identified below.


As a result the 2014-15 Grand Jury interviewed officials from each agency to clarify the responses to ensure that the responses met the requirements of Penal Code section 933.05.

FINDINGS

None.

RECOMMENDATIONS

None.

REQUEST FOR RESPONSES

None.

 

Redding Police Department

Commendation

The Grand Jury was invited by the Redding Police Department (RPD) to inspect Internal Affairs files and to participate in the Department’s excessive force training. On March 19, 2015, members of the Grand Jury reviewed files and asked questions. On April 2, 2015, members of the Grand Jury participated in RPD’s excessive force training and were able to ask questions about training and policies.


The Grand Jury extends our appreciation to the Redding Police Department. We also commend RPD for their transparency and willingness to share important and sensitive information.