Supervisors approve $1 million in special funding allocations; call for transparency

More than $1 million in partnership spending by the Community Corrections Partnership (CCP) was approved by the Plumas County Board of Supervisors on Sept. 4, but CCP hasn’t received word on how much it is receiving in state allocations.

In fiscal year 2017-18, CCP received $799,721 and approved $980,191 for programs, drawing from its reserves. In previous years CCP has relied on best estimates of what it could receive from AB 109 allocations from the state. AB 109 is the Public Safety Realignment bill approved in 2011. It’s what launched the formation of CCP in Plumas and similar programs in other counties.

Nine partner county agencies and local programs are set to receive a total of $1,044,444 for funding requests from CCP for fiscal year 2018-19.

The Plumas County Sheriff’s Office — primarily through corrections activities — is set to receive the lion’s share of funding. At $469,678, that request is down by nearly $67,700 from last year.

Plumas County Probation is set to receive $209,526, up less than $2,000 from last year.

Probation also receives a portion of allocations for  specific services to Plumas Crisis Intervention and Resource Center’s (PCIRC) three CCP-funded programs. This brings Probation’s allocation to $367,526.

Plumas County Behavioral Health is receiving $67,474, the same as last year.

The District Attorney’s Office is to receive $134,000, up from $65,000 last year.

Alliance for Workforce Development, AFWD, is receiving $25,000 as traditionally requested for programs to inmates.

Plumas County Literacy is allocated $31,733, down from $37,939 last year. Literacy provides education programs inside the corrections center.

Transparency needed

Supervisor Lori Simpson told members of the CCP present that they should keep supervisors informed of activities.

Simpson had questions and admonishments for Plumas County Probation Chief Erin Metcalf, chair of CCP.

“That’s it?” Simpson asked Metcalf when she finished a brief request for allocation approval.

Metcalf said it was similar to that of the previous year. She explained that CCP committee members previously discussed this year’s funding requests and the CCP board voted its approval. Coming before the board was a necessary formality.

Simpson said she had some concerns about how PCIRC’s Ohana House fit in with requests from the Sheriff’s Office, Behavior Health and other services directly relating to inmate services and the criminal justice system.

Ohana House is receiving $48,000 from CPP up $3,000 from last year, according to CCP spending totals.

Ohana House Youth Program — a grant-funded program — is described as providing emergency housing to youth.

Besides a temporary place to live, it also offers life skills classes, budgeting workshops and experiential learning activities, among other of life practices.

This is one of three programs for which PCIRC requested funding. PCIRC’s Pathways Home, and 24/7 Dad Program are also receiving funding. PCIRC’s total requests were $133,000 up from $107,024 from last year.

Metcalf said the program houses some offenders and also fits into the community safety profile established by the state’s Public Safety Realignment initially established by AB 109.Simpson said she expected more details in a request. “I think that’s a good suggestion,” Metcalf said.

Simpson said she is concerned that Plumas County’s funds allocated by CCP are used appropriately and cited an audit called for in a Shasta County Grand Jury report.

In that report, members found AB 109 funds financing programs previously paid for by the county’s general fund. Under the terms of AB 109, all allocations to counties must go toward its goal of establishing inmate programs and services that help reduce recidivism.

Simpson also pointed out that she is the only supervisor who attends CCP meetings. Plumas County Auditor Roberta Allen also attends.

Day Reporting Center

Simpson also expressed concerns about the increase in the District Attorney’s request. Last year, the DA’s office requested $65,097. This year the request is for $68,911 more.

Metcalf explained the additional funding is for work or study regarding the creation of a  new Day Reporting Center (DRC). The DRC is under the DA’s Alternative Sentencing Program (ASP).

Simpson said she wants someone —DA, ASP, CCP — to keep supervisors informed of activities. The first DRC closed without anyone notifying supervisors of the intent, she said. That DRC was located on Harbison Street in Quincy.

Simpson said that activities concerning ASP and others should be on the supervisors’ agenda.

CCP’s vote

Supervisor chair Jeff Engel asked Metcalf how members of CCP voted on this year’s allocations to partners.

Metcalf said there was one abstention, one no vote and other members voted yes.

Metcalf was the lone no vote. She said she believes the sheriff’s office receives too much funding from the allocation. She voted no for the same reason last year.

At this point, Simpson admonished Metcalf for not discussing her concerns during the special committee meeting when allocation proposals were discussed. Simpson said Metcalf waited until the regular meeting to cast her no vote.

Simpson said that it seemed that Metcalf allowed other members of the special committee to think she was in agreement with them and then voted against them. She described that some CCP members were “in shock” over Metcalf’s unexpected vote.

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