LAPD CHIEF, LA MAYOR SAY THE CITY WILL NOT HELP DONALD TRUMP DEPORT UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS
The LAPD will not change its immigration policies to help fulfill President-elect Donald Trump’s promise to deport millions of immigrants, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said Monday.
The police chief told the LA Times that his department will not “engage in law enforcement activities solely based on someone’s immigration status,” or work with Homeland Security on any efforts to ramp up deportations. “That is not our job, nor will I make it our job.”
The LAPD will continue to follow Special Order 40, a 1979 mandate that prevents police from questioning people with the sole intention of determining their immigration status, said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. And, if faced with hostility toward the people of Los Angeles, “we will speak up, speak out, act up, and act out,” the mayor said.
Special Order 40 was implemented by then-LAPD Chief Daryl Gates along with the LA City Council, so that undocumented immigrants could feel safe reporting crimes and otherwise engaging with law enforcement without the fear of deportation. Under the mandate, officers are not to arrest or book anyone solely for violating immigration law.
In addition to Donald Trump’s “first 100 days” promise to immediately start deporting more than two million undocumented immigrants is Donald Trump has also vowed to take away US Department of Justice grants from cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco for their “sanctuary city” status.
The LA Times’ Kate Mather and Cindy Chang have the story. Here’s a clip:
During Beck’s tenure as chief, the department stopped turning over people arrested for low-level crimes to federal agents for deportation and moved away from honoring federal requests to detain inmates who might be deportable past their jail terms.[SNIP]
“Our law enforcement officers and LAPD don’t go around asking people for their papers, nor should they,” [Garcetti] said. “That’s not the role of local law enforcement.”
Capt. Jeff Scroggin, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, said it is too soon to say how sheriff’s officials would react to any changes required by the Trump administration. Those changes could be tied to federal funding, he noted.
In the meantime, he said, sheriff’s deputies who patrol the county will continue their longstanding practice of treating all residents the same, regardless of background.
“We just want people to come forward so we have a better community. It doesn’t matter whether they’re an immigrant or going through the process of citizenship,” Scroggin said. “Whatever it is, we want to hear from them. We don’t want them to not cooperate. It’s important to keep the community safe. We never ask about immigration status.”
RIVERSIDE TESTING TEXT MESSAGING PROGRAM FOR PROBATION OFFICERS AND THEIR CLIENTS
The Riverside County Probation Department is testing a unique messaging program that allows probation officers to talk with their clients via text message. Senior Probation Officer Jaime MacLean has been testing the program, which is called CORE (Communicating Openly Requires Engagement), with her 30 clients since March.
Only three of MacLean’s clients have violated their probation in the months since March, compared with an average of around 3 violations per month that usually occur in caseloads of that size in Riverside.
MacLean says it has allowed her to engage with her clients in a way that she hadn’t been able to before that shows probationers that she cares about them and their success. Through the texting program, clients receive important updates, announcements for job fairs and other services, and can quickly communicate with their probation officer if they miss a meeting.
CA Fwd’s Nadine Ono has more on the promising program. Here’s a clip:
Part of building relationships with clients involves texting announcements and reminders for events such as job fairs, sending inspirational messages to lift their spirits in addition, checking-in as part of their probation, or allowing clients to text photos as proof of required activities.
The traditional way of communicating with clients is through phone calls and regular appointments, which is sometimes the only contact. And, if a client misses an appointment, unless he or she can connect by phone, the officer has no way of knowing what happened, which could lead to a violation.
McLean said the extra engagement is paying off. “They’re more willing to be honest via text message.” She explained that it is often hard for clients admit mistakes, such as using drugs or alcohol, over the phone or face-to-face. She added that sometimes clients will meet with her and say everything is OK, but then text her their problem after they leave the office.
“The whole point is trying to figure out how we can work on things together, instead of them feeling like they don’t want to come in and tell their probation officer what’s going on,” said McLain. “If they have a better relationship with me, they’re more willing to figure out what the next steps can be together.”
MacLean said she has one client with bad anxiety who is uncomfortable sitting in the waiting room. With the ability to text, the client can let her know when he has arrived, so that she can meet him at the door and bring him directly to the office. “Otherwise,” she said, “he just wouldn’t show up.” And not showing up could lead to a violation and possibly back in jail.
AS CA MOVES TOWARD ELIMINATING LONG-TERM GROUP HOMES, LA COUNTY STILL STRUGGLES TO BOOST AVAILABLE PLACEMENTS FOR FOSTER KIDS
A recent report from the LA County Department of Children and Family Services reveals that the county continues to struggle to find homes for kids in the foster care system.
While the number of children in foster care decreased by approximately 100, the number of open beds for foster kids also decreased by about the same amount.
DCFS has been working to increase the number of long-term placements with foster families as California moves toward a dramatic overhaul of the group home model slated to go into effect next year.
The Chronicle of Social Change’s Christie Renick has more on the report. Here’s a small clip:
The report also showed that there were 1,055 youth in group homes in 2015, a 4.4 percent increase over the year before.
California’s Continuum of Care Reform, which limits the amount of time a child or youth can be placed in a group home or congregate care facility, will take effect in January and will hasten the department’s efforts to find appropriate homes for older foster youth, who are often placed in residential institutions and small group homes.