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​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.

 
 

2018-2019 Grand Jury Compliance Report

SUMMARY


This Compliance Report covers the responses to the 2017/2018 Grand Jury Consolidated Report. The full Consolidated Report, approved by the Shasta County Superior Court, is available to the public and is archived online at www.shastacountygrandjury.org. California Penal Code Sections 933 and 933.05 mandate there be responses to final Grand Jury Reports. The current sitting Grand Jury may review the responses to the Investigative Reports from the prior year’s Grand Jury to ensure timely and adequate responses to the reports from the elected officials and governing bodies of the public agencies, special district or educational institution that are the subjects of the reports.


Elected officials must respond within 60 days; governing bodies (i.e., City Council) must respond within 90 days after a report is released to the public. The Grand Jury fully reviewed the Reports from 2017-2018 and the responses from the governing bodies charged with preparing those documents. It is with great appreciation that we report all were in total compliance with the required time period for compliance with Penal Code §933 and all responses complied with Penal Code §933.05.

FINDINGS

None.

RECOMMENDATIONS

None.

REQUEST FOR RESPONSES


None.

 

Medical Services at Shasta County Jail

"It Works"

SUMMARY


In September 2018, the Shasta County Grand Jury received a complaint alleging inadequate medical services and treatment of inmates at the Shasta County Jail. An investigation was conducted relative to the complaint and was expanded to better understand and comprehensively review medical services provided to inmates at the Jail.


The Grand Jury was unable to find evidence supporting the complaint, but instead found that the Jail’s medical services:

  • Provide effective, unbiased and timely care for inmates

  • Are within budgeted costs

  • Met State regulations

  • Are largely successful due to effective cooperation between staff of the Sheriff’s Office and the medical services provider

The Grand Jury commends those staff members and offers this report as an overview of and insight into a program that works.

FINDINGS


F1. Correctional and medical staff complete the intake medical screening process in a consistent and uniform manner, leading to equal treatment for all intakes.

F2. All intakes are subject to the same procedure and are evaluated by qualified staff, failing to substantiate alleged bias.

F3. Primary medical care for all inmates, including referrals for specialty care, are coordinated in a timely fashion, providing optimal medical services.

F4. State correctional regulations (Title 15) for inmate medical care are being met, thus assuring that inmates receive appropriate, standardized care.

F5. Protocols for emergency, prolonged, and end-of-life care are followed by medical and correctional staff providing avenues for compassionate care.

F6. The allegation that medical staff is required to work beyond their licensed skill level was not supported. Protocols are in place to provide 24-hour medical care by appropriately licensed staff.

F7. Medical and correctional staff work together to strive to provide quality assurance through a cohesive medical services program for the benefit of the inmates.

F8. Compensation for medical services was found to be within the contracted budget for fiscal years 2016/2017 and 2017/2018, allowing services to be provided as required within a fiscally responsible manner.

COMMENDATIONS


C1. The Grand Jury commends the medical and correctional staff of the Shasta County Jail on providing efficient and compassionate medical care for the inmates at the Jail.

C2. The Grand Jury commends the medical and correctional staff of the Shasta County Jail for meeting or exceeding its contractual obligations during fiscal years 2016/2017 and 2017/2018.

RECOMMENDATIONS

None.

REQUEST FOR RESPONSES

None.

 

SHASCOM 911 Services

"911, What's Your Emergency?"

SUMMARY


Over the past 23 years, Shasta County Grand Juries have produced six reports on the Shasta Area Safety Communications Agency (SHASCOM): 1995/96, 2000/01, 2003/04, 2005/06, 2007/08, 2009/10. This year’s report brings the total to seven. As the County’s emergency communication provider, SHASCOM is responsible for a vital public service. Similarly, the Grand Jury provides an important public service by periodically assessing SHASCOM. After nine years, a thorough, fresh assessment with recommendations of SHASCOM’s operations was overdue.


The 2018/19 Shasta County Grand Jury found that many concerns highlighted in past reports are still significant today. In particular, vacant dispatcher positions continue to be a chronic and debilitating issue. Unfilled dispatcher positions lead to excessive overtime and low employee morale. Inadequate recruitment efforts fail to meet staffing needs.


Dispatching is a difficult job. Excessive overtime is an added burden that increases stress. Overtime and related personnel management issues need to be resolved for the good of the employees and for the good of SHASCOM. SHASCOM has adopted the standards for training from the California’s Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST). However, not all training required by POST gets completed, in part because dispatchers have insufficient time to complete their training. We recommend that an outside consultant be hired to analyze SHASCOM’s operational needs and propose fixes for staffing and related personnel management issues.


The Grand Jury also identified issues related to SHASCOM’s technical support systems. The Agency has a new Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) system that became operational in October 2018 and is still undergoing modification and fine tuning. Because the new CAD does not yet meet the complex, multi-agency dispatching needs of SHASCOM, it is imperative that member agencies and SHASCOM’s Board receive regular updates on CAD performance and system integration. This information will aid the Board in determining if the CAD system is adequate. CodeRED is the County’s emergency alert system. It warns the public of emergencies and advises on how to respond. The system communicates information that is critical to everyone’s safety. Citizens of the County increase their options for receiving emergency alerts by registering for CodeRED. Our primary concern is that CodeRED is underutilized because it is poorly advertised to the public and is minimally user-friendly. We are especially concerned about citizens with disabilities or other conditions that limit their ability to receive and respond to emergency alerts. SHASCOM needs to promote CodeRED to the public. Read further to learn more about this important public service.


The SHASCOM Board is ultimately responsible for how well the Agency functions. Ongoing issues suggest the Board needs to be more proactive in its oversight of SHASCOM. To be more effective, the Board needs regular updates on performance-related issues, data to analyze the issues, and options on how the issues can be resolved. We found no clear process of how the Board makes recommendations for improvement. An outside consultant could recommend how best to optimize the communication of performance data and other important issues between the Board and the Director. We recommend a stepwise process to advance Board oversight:

  • Hire a management consultant to analyze SHASCOM / Board operations.

  • Schedule a workshop including the Board, Director, and consultant to address important issues, and review and clarify the roles and expectations of the Director and Board Members.

  • Establish a standing Advisory Board composed of community volunteers to assist the Board.

The Grand Jury believes outside eyes can help the Board and management of SHASCOM find new ways of addressing important issues and improve transparency.

FINDINGS


F1. Chronic understaffing necessitates excessive overtime, creating stress and negative morale.

F2. Public Safety Dispatchers II (PSDII) have a disproportionate overtime burden because they are qualified for all dispatcher functions.

F3. The amount of overtime required of PSDIIs is a disincentive for Public Safety Dispatchers I (PSDI) to advance.

F4. Current recruitment efforts are inconsistent and limited, thus contributing to unfilled dispatcher positions and excessive overtime.

F5. The limit of four training slots restricts the number of vacancies that can be filled in a training cycle.

F6. Training efforts are not standardized among the trainers resulting in an inconsistent training program.

F7. The SHASCOM Board has not effectively dealt with the overtime and recruitment issues which have caused chronic staffing problems.

F8. Overtime and staffing issues limit SHASCOM’s ability to timely comply with all Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) accreditation requirements.

F9. The Computer- Aided Dispatch (CAD) system does not satisfactorily meet the needs of Redding Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services (ambulances) which causes dispatch and first responder complications.

F10. SHASCOM has no systematic process for utilizing CAD system’s capability for flagging specific information on populations with access and functional needs, leaving this group vulnerable in emergency situations.

F11. CodeRED is underutilized due, at least in part, to a lack of systematic effort to increase registrations.

F12. SHASCOM and participating agencies’ websites lack adequate information about the function of CodeRED alerts and the registration process, leaving the public with insufficient information as to why or how to register.

F13. The current CodeRED registration process is not sufficiently effective at enabling or achieving registration of people with access and functional needs. This may leave this population vulnerable to future emergencies for lack of receiving a CodeRED alert.

F14. There has been no available comprehensive testing or analysis by SHASCOM to determine if CodeRED meets the County’s needs for an emergency alert system.

F15. The Board does not receive standardized, system-wide reporting or documentation from the various Operational meetings between participating Agencies and SHASCOM, impacting their ability to make informed decisions.

F16. There is not a shared understanding of roles and responsibilities among Board members and the Director, which results in less than effective governance. This lack of consistent and comprehensive oversight of SHASCOM allows chronic issues, as outlined in the report, to persist.


COMMENDATION


Thank you to Agencies that put links to CodeRED on their websites.


RECOMMENDATIONS


R1. By September 30, 2019, the SHASCOM Board will begin the process of hiring a subject matter expert (management consultant) to review and analyze personnel management issues related to overtime, staffing levels, and dispatcher responsibilities and classifications (PSDI and PSDII). Funding could come from current-year budget savings or be allocated to the following year’s budget.

R2. By October 31, 2019, the SHASCOM Board will instruct the SHASCOM Director to prepare a comprehensive recruitment plan that analyzes appropriate targets and details the timing and methods of recruitment.

R3. Beginning January 31, 2020, the SHASCOM Board will require the SHASCOM Director to provide quarterly reports on recruitment efforts and outcomes, based on the comprehensive recruitment plan.

R4. By January 31, 2020, the SHASCOM Board will require the SHASCOM Director to have prepared and initiated the Request For Proposals (RFP) process for hiring the management consultant.

R5. By November 30, 2019, the SHASCOM Board will require the SHASCOM Director to present a timeline for achieving compliance with accreditation certification of the dispatch center, either through POST or an alternate accreditation organization.

R6. By November 30, 2019, the SHASCOM Board will require that each employee’s annual evaluation include continuing education requirements and provide a reasonable timeframe to complete the training.

R7. By November 30, 2019, the SHASCOM Board will instruct the SHASCOM Director to conduct an in-house audit on the effectiveness of the training program and report the results to the Board by January 31, 2020.

R8. Beginning at the September 2019 SHASCOM Board meeting, and at each bi-monthly meeting thereafter, the Board will require written updates on the performance of CAD until all issues are resolved to the satisfaction of participating Agencies.

R9. By January 31, 2020, the SHASCOM Board will instruct the SHASCOM Director to present a project plan for incorporating information on people with access and functional needs into the CAD database.

R10. By January 31, 2020, the SHASCOM Board will instruct the SHASCOM Director to plan the implementation of an annual performance test of CodeRED with a subsequent report to the Board on the system’s effectiveness within 60 days of the test.

R11. By January 31, 2020, the SHASCOM Board will instruct the SHASCOM Director to appoint a staff member of SHASCOM to improve the CodeRED registry website and expand public registration, including persons with special access and functional needs.

R12. By May 31, 2020, the SHASCOM Board will establish an operational, standing Advisory Board, composed of community volunteers as outlined in this report.

REQUEST FOR RESPONSES

Shasta County Board of Supervisors:

Findings F1, F4, F7 through F16

Recommendations R1 through R12

Redding City Council:

Findings F1, F4, F7 through F16

Recommendations R1 through R12


Anderson City Council:

Findings F1, F4, F7 through F16

Recommendations R1 through R12

Shasta County Sheriff:

Findings F1 through F16

Recommendations R1 through R12

SHASCOM Board of Directors:

Findings F1 through F16

Recommendations R1 through R12

 

Sugar Pine Conservation Camp

SUMMARY


California Penal Code § 919 (b) mandates that the Grand Jury inquire into the condition and management of public prisons within the County. Sugar Pine is the only public prison in Shasta County. To meet the requirement, the Shasta County Grand Jury toured the Sugar Pine Conservation Camp February 19, 2019.

FINDINGS


F1. Respect between Camp staff and inmates provide a positive and supportive work environment.

F2. Sugar Pine provides a training ground for low-risk inmates to learn critical skills for reentry into the community.

F3. Sugar Pine provided valuable fire suppression services during the 2018 major wildland fires that devastated Shasta County and the surrounding area at minimal cost to local government.

F4. Sugar Pine crews provide much needed services to local governments and districts at a much reduced cost.


COMMENDATION


The Grand Jury commends the Sugar Pine Conservation Camp for being a positive force in our County and the State correctional system.


RECOMMENDATIONS


None.


REQUEST FOR RESPONSES

None.