Board of juvenile justice services meeting

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This meeting was conducted on January 12, 2012, at the DHS Administration Building,

195 North 1950 West, Salt Lake City, Utah, beginning at 10:00 a.m.

Russell Van Vleet, Vice Chair

Kirk Allen, Member

Robert Flores, Member

David Christensen, Member

David Harper, Member

BOARD MEMBERS EXCUSED: Karen Crompton, Member
STAFF MEMBERS PRESENT: Susan Burke, Director

Judy Hammer, Administrative Assistant

Rick Platt, Office of Administrative Services

Cecil Robinson, Office of Community Programs

Chris Roach, Office of Correctional Facilities

Salvador Mendez, Office of Early Intervention Services

John DeWitt, JJS Research Evaluation and Planning

Jackie Southwick, Mill Creek Youth Center

Tara Jorgensen, JJS Internal Investigations Unit
STAFF MEMBERS EXCUSED: Malcolm Evans, Office of Rural Programs
VISITORS PRESENT: Palmer DePaulis, DHS Executive Director

Ken Stettler, Office of Licensing

David Walsh, CCJJ


Dr. Bezzant welcomed those in attendance. He excused Ms. Crompton, who is out of town and unable to be in attendance. The meeting began at 10:04 a.m.

1.1 Approval of November 8, 2011 minutes

Mr. Allen moved that the minutes be approved. Mr. Harper seconded the motion and it was approved unanimously without further discussion or abstention.

1.2 Review of Action Items

Suicide Policy Meeting

  • This meeting was not arranged.

Initial Health Screen form distribution

  • Suggestions to the form were distributed for consideration by JJS staff. Director Burke thanked Mr. Flores for his comments, stating she thought we could accommodate most of the suggestions.

DHS Executive Director Report

Dr. Bezzant welcomed DHS Executive Director, Palmer DePaulis, and turned the time over to him for his report. Executive Director DePaulis reported that everything is ramping up for the upcoming legislative session. The good news is that we will not be having Appropriations Meetings prior to the start of the session, which has been the case during difficult budget years. This allows the Department to ready themselves for the session. He reviewed the DHS schedule of meetings. He thanked the Board and JJS for their hard work and dedication to the Department and to the Division. He also briefed the JJS Board on items of interest as follows:

  • The last few years have been tough due to one-time money that needed to be replaced with ongoing money. He said Director Burke and her management team have worked hard to look for efficiencies to keep the good work of the Division in place.
  • He explained the budget process – first the Governor proposes a budget, then the Legislature considers it and finalizes the budget. The Department supports the Governor’s budget as they speak with Legislators. Part of the budget deals with the FMAP allocation. Utah receives 70% federal dollars to the 30% the state puts in. The match is adjusted every year. Over the past few years we have had to come up with non-lapse money to cover the FMAP because it has not been fully funded. This year, the Governor’s budget recommends FMAP funding for JJS, along with $1.6 million for Genesis; $2.5 million in one-time money for Youth Services and Receiving Centers. The Division would be left with a $1.5 million shortfall in the Operations area. This could potentially mean the closure of the Weber Valley Detention Center.

  • The Legislature is asking for outcomes. He reports that JJS has a good story to tell. Director Burke has been tasked with providing information on: 1) where we have been; 2) what we have done; 3) what the good things are that we have put together; 4) what we have re-engineered to make things work; and 5) how much money we have absorbed and reallocated during the “down” years. It all boils down to how we tell our story – how convincing we are, how persuasive we are, and how many allies we have in the community (meaning those who depend on our services). We serve real people with real needs.

Executive Director DePaulis reported that he is buoyed by the fact that there may be additional revenues this year. This may give us some breathing room. He expressed to the Board that there is support from the Executive Director’s Office, from Director Burke, and the JJS Management Team to move the story forward. He reviewed additional needs and items in other parts of DHS that he will continue to work on during the Legislative session.

Everything he does from now until the end of the session will be focused on the Legislature. This is democracy at work; this is how the system works; this is how we do business. He welcomed the assistance of the JJS Board to look at what we have in place, and create a legacy for our children. Executive Director DePaulis said it is his job and challenge to provide education and to make Legislators aware of the great story we have to tell. There is a need for constant reinforcement and effort on his part as he continues to reach out to communities and meets with Legislators and stakeholders. He said he feels great support from the Governor.

2.1 Process for appointing a new Deputy Director

Director Burke announced the appointment of Chris Roach as the new Deputy Director, replacing Gaby Anderson. She outlined the process used as she made her selection from her pool of eight applicants. There were good candidates, and a solid decision was made. She added that Mr. Roach’s appointment leaves the Division without a Program Director. She will keep the Board updated as that process unfolds.


3.1 Budget Impact Statement

Director Burke referred to “Budget Impacts” information distributed in the Board packet prior to the meeting. She reviewed the handouts, along with presenting scenarios in the event of partial funding. She expressed high regard for the Governor’s budget at $4.1 million, especially after initial cautionary statements she had been given. She detailed the potential impacts to the JJS budget, along with reasons behind the decisions, as follows:

  • Closure of Genesis Work Camp - $1.6 million, 46 FTE’s.

  • Reduce/Eliminate Youth Services & Receiving Centers - $2.5 million

  • Closure of Weber Valley Detention Center - $1.5 million, 28 FTE’s

3.2 JJS and Board Strategy

Director Burke reported on a meeting with the Weber Council of Governments (WCG). Mayors from Weber County, along with the various Commissioners were present. She informed them of the status of the budget, the potential closure of Weber Valley Detention Center (WVDC), and rationale behind the decision. She explained that the Division advocates for the Governor’s budget. We are able to give the information, show where the Division is currently, state that we support the Governor’s recommendations, and show how we plan to respond and manage the situation. Of great interest and concern to the WCG was the mileage impact on law enforcement in cities and counties in the event that WVDC is closed. She outlined specifics regarding mileage issues. She explained that in years past, JJS has asked for a replacement facility for WVDC. This year that request was not made due to an excess bed situation.

Director Burke opened the time for discussion/questions. Issues regarding the positive past impact to youths of the Genesis program, the benefits of community service, and the costs of restitution were discussed. Additionally, costs associated with operating Genesis were discussed. She also made mention of the successful Genesis Clothesline Project/Open House, which produced positive media coverage. Director Burke reported that she had implemented a soft hiring in anticipation of whatever cuts may be needed. She outlined in detail the process the Department of Human Resource Management has in place with regard to RIFs. RIFs need not be facility or program specific, but could be based on geographic area. She also reported that all affected programs have been informed of potential outcomes. They are working hard on outreach to the community. Director Burke said that previous administrations had done a great job at trying to minimize the impact to the Division by cutting here and there. As such, there is nothing small left to cut. The Executive Management Team has closely reviewed every avenue for internal cuts.
She outlined past closures – closing a wing at Decker Lake Youth Center, closing a girls program, closing detention wings, eliminating youth services in some areas, totally eliminating our state supervision programs – there is nothing left except critical services for kids for the Division to cut. We are now looking at closing a work camp, and are trying our best to accommodate the work needs of our clients in a different way. The closure of youth services and receiving centers would negatively impact the rural communities, forcing law enforcement to travel long hours to get kids the services they need. Director Burke said the Legislature recognizes those needs, and would like to continue the services as best we can.

Mr. Walsh added his ideas on the upcoming Legislative session, offering insight as to how Legislators think. Cutting the least cost effective programs would heavily impact the rural areas of the state. Trending on excess capacity, youth populations and crime were discussed. The analogy of the need for firehouses in communities was likened to the need for JJS work programs, secure facilities, youth service and receiving center programs. When the service is needed it is imperative that it be available. Staff morale issues were discussed. Director Burke said she has encouraged staff to maintain their professionalism as they work through difficult stress situations, which reinforces the value of the program to the community.

4.1 Board to provide input on entire policy and procedure

Director Burke outlined the current practice for the Board to review policy for potential approval. She feels the Board has been placed in a position where they may consider the Policy Statement only. As such, she feels it is critical the Board have a voice in an entire policy. The Division will give the Board the information they need in order to make an informed recommendation. The Division and the Board should have good dialogue back and forth. She proposed that the Board review and offer input on the entire policy, both Policy Statement and Procedures. She would like the Division and the Board to work together to determine collectively what we feel will be the best policy and procedure for the Division. While there may be places where we don’t agree, we will need to work through that territory. This will be new for all those involved. The Board needs to receive background and briefing on each policy ahead of time. The background should include the purpose of the policy, data and additional information offering insight, scope of work/issue, etc. Director Burke also asked Mr. Flores if he would work more closely with the Policy and Procedure Committee to ensure a policy is reviewed by him prior to distribution to the Board. By so doing, when a policy comes before the Board it will already have any changes recommended by Mr. Flores. This will be a collaborative effort and is a significantly different approach. It provides enhanced legal status for staff as they depend more on the role of the Board. A staff member who follows a generic policy adopted by a Board has greater legal status than a policy merely adopted by an administrator. Board-approved policy benefits staff in the long run.

4.2 Reports no longer need to be accepted

Director Burke sees no need for there to be a formal acceptance of reports given in JJS Board meetings.


01-08 Criminal Record Checks

Ms. Southwick and Ms. Jorgenson reviewed previously distributed copies of this policy. They fielded questions, clarifying issues as appropriate. Without the ability to see what was changed from the current foundation policy to the latest draft, the Board determined that no decision can effectively be made today. Some Board members felt the Board needs to be presented with a draft showing existing policy with strikeouts and underlining of proposed changes from the existing base policy. Others did not feel it necessary to see a long history before making a decision.

Mr. Flores moved that Policy 01-08 be tabled, returned at the next opportunity with an ordinary draft that shows the markings comparing the current policy with the proposed changes. Mr. Van Vleet seconded the motion. The motion passed with four votes in the affirmative, one abstention vote from Mr. Christensen, and one nay vote from Mr. Allen.
05-01 Warrants

Ms. Southwick explained that Policy 05-12 and Policy 05-01 are being combined. Policy 05-12 will be removed from the index on the website. The potential of changing the word “correctional” to “secure” throughout all JJS Policy and Procedures was discussed, without a final decision made.

Mr. Flores moved to adopt Policy 05-01. Mr. Christensen seconded the motion and it carried unanimously without further discussion or abstention.

05-06 Use of Restraints

Mr. Flores moved to adopt Policy 05-06. Mr. Van Vleet seconded the motion and it carried without further discussion or abstention.

05-03 Suicide Prevention

Ms. Jorgenson reviewed incidents involving suicide behavior for the past five years. She outlined the criteria used for suicide incidents within the Division. She distributed “Review of Incidents Involving Suicide.” Incidents were broken down by DJJS Facility Incidents by Year and Provider/Community Incidents by Year. Specific incidents were also discussed. Reference was made to the Hawaii Suicide Policy which has been incorporated into the JJS Policy. Legal and financial concerns were considered. The Department’s Fatality Review Committee was discussed.

Mr. Harper moved the Board table Policy 05-03. Mr. Christensen seconded the motion and it carried unanimously without further discussion or abstention.


Director Burke reported that the Division is monitoring the bills that are coming through, and there is currently nothing of direct significance to the Division other than a bill that deals with juvenile competency. She outlined items of interest, and presented a brief history behind the bill. The way the bill is written, a competency plan must be developed, with a year to work with a particular juvenile implementing the plan to achieve competency. After that time frame, if competency cannot be achieved the charges would be dismissed without prejudice. This bill takes into account juveniles who are arrested and charged, go through an evaluation process, and are declared incompetent. In some cases the juvenile would be removed from their home and placed in foster care or other treatment setting. If, after accessing a variety of interventions and services, the juvenile can achieve competency they would go through the regular court process. Several options that play into the process were discussed. The issue of overlapping services was discussed.


Director Burke said that inviting Mr. Stettler to our meeting is in response to the Board raising issues with regard to licensing programs throughout the state. He will share what his office does, and will answer specific questions that may arise. Mr. Stettler began by distributing a handout “2012 Overview of the Utah Department of Human Services Office of Licensing (OL). OL has offices across the state to deal with a variety of licensing issues. Any program that provides human services, care and treatment or care to children or vulnerable adults is licensed through his office. The exceptions are Assisted Living Centers, hospitals, or day care centers (which are licensed through the Department of Health). Of utmost importance is the protection of kids in these programs. Mr. Stettler fielded questions on specific private providers and facilities from Board members. Background checks, accreditation requirements, compliance issues, fatalities, and case load requirements were discussed.


Director Burke distributed “Division of Juvenile Justice Services – 12/29/2011.” She asked the Executive Management Team to report the status of the three goals” as follows:

Improve short-term and long-term outcomes for youths

  1. Select program-specific measure, populate data and monitor/report on these quarterly - Dr. DeWitt and Mr. Mendez

Handout: “DJJS Goal: Improve short-term and long-term outcomes for youths”

  1. Use information to identify areas for improvement, additional resources, and/or policy/program modifications. – Dr. DeWitt and Mr. Mendez
  2. Identify cost-effective strategies for maintaining JJS service delivery, including the enhancement of technology-driven solutions – Mr. Platt

  3. Develop an evidence-based practices service delivery model for all program areas to reduce recidivism – Mr. Robinson

  4. Contract with the U of U to apply the Correctional Program Checklist to 8 different program types as part of the Quality Assurance Review process – Ms. Hoffman and Director Burke

Strengthen inter-agency, community and legislative partnerships

  1. Enhance outreach to partners – All

  2. Develop a process for involving partners in the Quality Service Review process – Mr. Robinson

  3. Cultivate legislative relationships with key JJS Staff and Board members – Director Burke

Improve the safety, security and morale of JJS youths and employees.

  1. Form a committee to oversee the implementation of the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) – Mr. Roach, Ms. Jorgenson

  2. Review and provide training on the grievance process for JJS youths and employees – Mr. Roach and Ms. Jorgenson

  3. Monitor and respond to grievances in a timely manner - Mr. Roach and Ms. Jorgenson

  4. Develop guidelines for Incentive Awards that encourage applications and timely recognition of staff – Mr. Roach and Ms. Hammer

  5. Encourage staff to apply for educational assistance – Mr. Roach

  6. Expand professional development opportunities for employees – Mr. Roach


Susan distributed “Proposed Board Goals,” which correlate with JJS Division Goals.

Division Goal Improve short and long term outcomes for youth.

Supporting Board Goal * Assess and enhance educational and vocational training for youths in our secure facilities.

Division Goal Strengthen inter-agency, community and legislative partnerships.

Supporting Board Goal * Expand faith-based and community-based aftercare services and mentoring programs for JJS youths.

Added Board Goal * Law enforcement relationship
Division Goal Improve the safety, security and morale of JJS youths and employees.

Supporting Board Goal * Expand the use of Performance-based Standards (PbS) statewide

* Law enforcement relationship

Added Board Goal * Improve the process for review and approval of JJS policies
Other ideas were discussed as follows:

  • Set up a regular time for Board members to speak to kids

    • A few times a year, randomly select kids to be interviewed by 3-4 Board members.

    • The goal is to say to kids that “we are coming to them,” allowing the Board to hear what kids are thinking about the system.

    • Have a Board meeting in a detention center, with some Board members assigned to stay after the meeting after to talk with kids.

  • Board members regularly visit facilities and talk with staff and kids.

    • JJS Administration will help facilitate those visits.

    • The goal could be for each Board member to visit 1-2 facilities each year.

    • Hold Board meetings in a facility, have lunch, and visit with kids after the meeting.

  • Attend parent nights to get the flip side of visits with kids. Frequency depends on the facility; but parent nights are held regularly.

    • Facilities will be made aware that Board members may be visiting impromptu.
    • This would not be for the purpose of “inspection” but rather a visit and talk to see the families.

  • Board members will be provided a JJS Badge for identification purposes only.

Mr. Harper moved that the Board table the goals presented in today’s meeting so that other Board members may be involved, with the intent to finalize the goals in the next meeting. Mr. Van Vleet seconded the motion and it carried unanimously without further discussion or abstention.

Ms. Hammer will provide Board Members, Ms. Karen Crompton and Mr. Kirk Allen, with copies of the Proposed Board Goals prior to the next meeting.
Director Burke distributed a memo providing an analysis of costs associated with JJS Board Meetings. Taking into account personnel, mileage, and meal allowance, the average cost per Board Member is $231.47. The average cost per meeting for 7 Board Members is $1620.30. These costs do not contain detail of travel costs and meeting per diems submitted to DHRM personnel for payment. She provided this information in order to make informed decisions on efficiencies for future meeting dates and locations. The potential for holding conference call meetings was discussed as an infrequent option. The next meeting will be held in conjunction with the Troubled Youth Conference at Snowbird.
Director Burke will generate a proposed Board Meeting Schedule for 2012, and will distribute it electronically prior to the next JJS Board meeting.

5.1 JJS Annual Report

Dr. DeWitt stated that the 2011 JJS Annual Report has been completed and will be distributed to JJS Board members at a later date.

5.2 JJS Budget Forecast

Mr. Platt distributed and reviewed “Juvenile Justice Services FY2013 Budget Status.”

5.3 JJS Program Issues

This item was not addressed in this meeting.

5.4 SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats)

This item was not addressed in this meeting.


There was discussion on the need to hold more frequent meetings. It was proposed that the Board meet at least 6 times per year, every other month, as we continue to work on Board Goals. As such, it was determined that the next meeting would be held Thursday, March 29, most likely in the Salt Lake area, in the 10:00 a.m. time frame. The potential for holding phone conference meetings was discussed. No decision was made.


Dr. Bezzant offered several motivational stories with regard to successful programming for youth.

Mr. Harper moved the meeting adjourn. Mr. Christensen seconded the motion and it carried unanimously without further discussion or abstention.
The meeting adjourned at 3:00 p.m.

- Ms. Hammer will provide Board Members, Ms. Karen Crompton and Mr. Kirk Allen, with copies of the Proposed Board Goals prior to the next meeting.

- Director Burke will generate a proposed Board Meeting Schedule for 2012, and will distribute it electronically prior to the next JJS Board meeting.

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