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TO REPORT THAT WE HAVE A FORM, WE CAN GET STARTED.

[00:00:02]

OH, GOOD. WELCOME EVERYBODY.

[Call to Order by Chair Commissioner Ellis]

I WANT TO CALL THIS MEETING.

I'M RODNEY ELLIS. IN CASE YOU DON'T RECOGNIZE THE SOUTHERN DRAWL.

I WANT TO THANK EVERYBODY FOR COMING IN ON A BEAUTIFUL AFTERNOON.

THERE ARE FEW ISSUES THAT THERE'S NO ISSUE I CAN THINK OF.

THAT'S MORE IMPORTANT THAN WHAT WE'RE GOING TO DO ABOUT THIS UPTICK IN CRIME.

AND WE ALL OF THE PLAYERS WITH A LOT OF THE FRIENDS, I THINK, WHO ARE CAPABLE OF DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

I WANT US TO MEET TODAY, SO WE GET ACCUSTOMED TO WORKING WITH ONE ANOTHER.

IT'S DIFFICULT TO DO IT VIRTUALLY, BUT IT IS WHAT IT IS.

I WANT TO START, IF I MIGHT, BY JUST GIVING YOU SOME SENSE OF WHAT OUR VISION IS.

AND I THINK THE BEST WAY TO DO THAT IS FOR ME TO JUST SIMPLY READ ONCE AGAIN IN CASE YOU HAVEN'T LOOKED AT IT LATELY.

THE HARRIS COUNTY JUSTICE AND SAFETY GOAL STATEMENT THAT WAS ADOPTED BY COMMISSIONERS COURT AND THIS IS THE STATEMENT AS COUNTY WILL PROMOTE SAFE, HEALTHY, THRIVING COMMUNITIES THROUGH RESTORATIVE AND EVIDENCE BASED STRATEGIES THAT FOSTER PUBLIC TRUST, PREVENT VIOLENCE AND TRAUMA, REDUCE RACIAL AND ECONOMIC DISPARITIES, AND MINIMIZE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM EXPOSURE WHERE AT ALL POSSIBLE.

I THINK THAT SUMS IT UP AS AS GOOD AS I CAN.

WE'RE TAKING ON A BIG CHALLENGE, AND I'M CONFIDENT WITH THE FOLKS WHO ARE ON THIS CALL.

WE CAN DO IT. I WANT TO WELCOME THE NEW MEMBERS, MOST OF US, WHETHER WE SEE ONE ANOTHER OR NOT. WE HAVE WORKED TOGETHER LONG ENOUGH SO THAT WE KNOW ONE ANOTHER.

JUDGE TORRIO FINCH, THE PRESIDING JUDGE OF THE HARRIS COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTS AND LAW.

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US, NATALIE.

I DON'T WANT TO BUTCHER YOUR LAST NAME.

I HEARD SOME OF OUR COLLEAGUES SAY IT IS A NAKED LADIES.

NICOLE, LADIES, HOW DO I SAY IT? MICHAEL MICHAEL LADIES, WELCOME.

SHE'S THE DIRECTOR OF PRETRIAL SERVICES.

BARBARA ROBINSON, DIRECTOR OF HARRIS COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENT THANK ALL OF YOU FOR JOINING THE COUNCIL AND EVERYONE ELSE WHO CAME ON THE LINE THAT YOU HAVE THE MINUTES.

I THANK YOU SO THEM.

DON'T CRITICIZE ME.

WHEN I WAS IN AUSTIN, I WAS KNOWN AS SPEEDY RODNEY.

[3. Approval of previous Meeting Minutes 05.11.21]

ARE THERE ANY PROBLEMS WITH THE MINUTES? IF THAT IS A MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING ON MAY 1ST, 2021.

I MOVE WE APPROVE THE MINUTES AS PRESENTED IS THAT SECOND SECOND IS ANY OBJECT THEY ARE ADOPTED. THE FOURTH ITEM WOULD BE A DISCUSSION OF JJC PLANNING AND APPROACH TO

[4. Discussion regarding CJCC Strategic Planning & Approach to Committees]

COMMITTEES. WHAT WE DID SINCE OUR LAST MEETING, WE GOT WITH JAD AND WITH THE JUSTICE MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE, THEY HELD A NUMBER OF GROUP AND INDIVIDUAL MEETINGS TO GET FEEDBACK FROM FOLKS ON WHAT COULD BE DONE TO MAKE THIS COUNCIL MORE EFFECTIVE.

THESE WERE THE KEY THINGS THAT CAME OUT OF THAT PROCESS.

THE COUNCIL WAS TOO BIG.

C.J. CC LACKED STRATEGIC DIRECTION.

THERE ARE MANY STAKEHOLDERS, INCLUDING OUR STAFFS AND OFFICES, WHO NEED TO BE INCLUDED IN OUR CONVERSATIONS.

SECOND MAJOR POINT, SMALLER MEMBERSHIP BASED ON YOUR FEEDBACK.

WE CHANGED THE COMPOSITION TO THIS COUNCIL TO BE AS EFFECTIVE AS POSSIBLE.

I'LL TAKE THE HEAT.

ALL WE'LL GIVE IT TO JAD.

BUT WE HAD TO ASK SOME PEOPLE IF WE COULD TAKE THEM OFF.

WE COULD ALWAYS INVITE THEM IN AS GUESTS OR TO MAKE A PRESENTATION.

BUT WE STREAMLINED THE JJC TO INCLUDE 17 MEMBERS DOWN FROM.

YOU CAN REMEMBER THE OLD DAYS.

THIRTY FIVE.

I'LL TAKE THE BLAME FOR MAKING IT THAT LARGE.

WITH 17 NOW DOWN FROM THIRTY FIVE, THE SMALLER SIZE WILL HELP THE BODY MEET REGULARLY AND RESPOND TO PRESSING CONCERNS, AND WE WILL BE FOCUSING ON THE WORK OF THE JCC IN COMMITTEES IN AUSTIN.

AS WONDERFUL AS IT WAS TO GIVE A SPEECH ON THE FLOOR, SOMETIMES YOU HAD A PRETTY GOOD SENSE OF WHETHER OR NOT YOU HAD TO SUPPORT AND NOT NOT ALL THE TIME IN THE SENATE OF THIRTY ONE MEMBERS, BUT A LOT OF THE WORK WAS DONE ON THE COMMITTEE LEVEL.

THAT DOESN'T MEAN IT'S BEHIND THE SCENES IN A DARK ROOM, BUT IT WAS ON THE COMMITTEE LEVEL, SO WE'RE GOING TO DO AS MUCH AS WE CAN THROUGH COMMITTEES.

WE WILL INCLUDE NON MEMBERS OF THIS COUNCIL ON THOSE COMMITTEES AS WELL.

ONE OF THE POINTS THAT MANY OF YOU MAKE WAS THAT WE NEEDED A STRATEGIC PLAN TO GIVE US SOME DIRECTION ON WHAT WE COULD DO, THINGS THAT WE CAN EASILY DEVELOP A CONSENSUS AROUND, EVEN IF THAT WAS A LITTLE HEATED DISCUSSION TO GET THERE.

BUT SOME STRATEGIC PLAN AND AND I WANT YOU TO SPEAK ON THIS BRIEFLY.

[00:05:01]

I HAVE SOME IDEAS THAT I'VE TALKED TO AND ABOUT WHAT WE CAN DO TO COME UP WITH A STRATEGIC PLAN. BUT AND IF YOU WOULD JUST JUMP IN NOW.

GIVEN THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS BODY TO ADVANCE THE HARRIS COUNTY JUSTICE AND SAFETY GOALS, WE REALLY RECOMMEND A STRATEGIC PLAN THAT INCLUDES THE PERSPECTIVES, THE VOICES, THE UNDERSTANDING OF ALL OF THE MEMBERS OF THIS COUNCIL TO IDENTIFY THE MISSION DIVISION, THE GOALS OF DELIVERABLES AND IN ORDER FOR US TO DO THAT AND TO DO THAT EFFECTIVELY AND QUICKLY, WE WOULD LIKE FOR ALL OF YOU TO CONSIDER US BEING ABLE TO ENGAGE AN EXPERT THAT HAS HAD EXPERIENCE IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE, COORDINATING COUNCILS AND STRATEGIC PLANNING, AND JUST SO THAT WE CAN GET THE BALL ROLLING AND IT'S LIKELY THAT IT WILL TAKE ABOUT SIX MONTHS, HOPEFULLY SOONER.

BUT IF WE HAVE ASSISTANCE FROM AN OUTSIDE ENTITY THAT HAS BEEN THERE, DONE THAT AND CAN ACTUALLY HELP US NAVIGATE THE STRATEGIC PLANNING PROCESS, I THINK THAT WOULD GET US IN A GOOD START AND WE CAN COMPLETE THE WORK RELATIVELY SOON, COMMISSIONER AND WE ARE EXPLORING SOME FUNDING OPTIONS FOR THAT.

BUT IF WE CAN GET OUTSIDE HELP, THAT WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED AND I'M ASSUMING IT WOULD BE ONE OPTION WOULD BE JMI TO JUSTICE MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE OR SOMEONE TO COME UP WITH A PLAN FOR US RIGHT NOW.

JMI HAS HAD EXPERIENCE WITH THE MEMBERS OF THIS COUNCIL.

THEY WERE INSTRUMENTAL IN COLLECTING THEIR THOUGHTS AND PERSPECTIVES DURING THE WORKSHOPS, SO IT MAKES SENSE.

BUT OBVIOUSLY WE WOULD WANT TO ENGAGE ENTITIES AND AND SO THE SOONER WE GET, WE GET THAT GOING, THE SOONER WE CAN START DEVELOPING THAT STRATEGIC PLAN SO THAT THE MEMBERS CAN CAN PROVIDE THEIR FEEDBACK. AND I ASSUME YOU FIGURE OUT SOME PROCESS WHAT WE HAVE TO TAKE IT TO COURT. IF WE STAY UNDER A CERTAIN AMOUNT, YOU CAN PAY FOR IT OUT OF YOUR BUDGET OR I DON'T KNOW HOW, BUT I BELIEVE THAT IF WE STAY UNDER A CERTAIN AMOUNT, WE HAVE THE FLEXIBILITY TO BE ABLE TO DO THAT.

YEAH. OK, WELL, SO ANNA, I'M GOING TO DIRECT YOU TO DO IT.

ANY THOUGHTS? ANYBODY HAVE ANY CONCERNS? I'M NOT HUNG UP ON THE WHO, I DON'T THINK WE NEED EMOTION ON IT UNLESS YOU ALL WANT ONE.

BUT I'M JUST GOING TO DIRECT ANNA TO COME UP WITH SOMEONE AND LET US KNOW UNLESS SOMEBODY HAS AN OBJECTION TO IT.

THE NEXT ITEM WOULD BE A DISCUSSION, THIS IS ITEM FIVE I MENTIONED EARLIER, WE'RE GOING

[5. Discussion regarding Jail Population]

TO DESIGN COMMITTEES AROUND THE STRATEGIC PLAN WHO HELP US DO OUR WORK.

AND AS I MENTIONED, THAT'S WHERE THE REAL WORK WILL BE DONE ON.

THE NEXT ITEM WOULD BE A DISCUSSION ON THE GENERAL POPULATION.

AND VIRGINIA RYAN FROM THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE VIRGINIA TO SHOW ME HOW TO HIT THE RIGHT BUTTON. I THINK YOU ARE THERE.

THERE IS A CHAT BOX HERE, FOLKS KNOW HOW TO DO IT OR JUST YELL OUT IF I DON'T SEE YOU, JUST SAY RODNEY. OK, I'M ON.

THANK YOU, MR. SORRY ABOUT THAT.

BUT. SO I JUST WANTED TO SHARE SOME OF THAT.

CAN YOU HEAR ME? YEAH, WE'RE GETTING A LITTLE BACKGROUND.

I DON'T KNOW IF YOU'RE IN YOUR OFFICE.

I DON'T THINK SO.

NO, WE'RE NOT TALKING.

I'M GOING TO MUTE. MAYBE THOSE OF US WHO ARE NOT TALKING OR MUTE THAT MIGHT HELP WITH THE BANDWIDTH. I'M NOT SURE. I I HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF NOT.

SO I JUST WANTED TO SHARE SOME OF THE NEWS THAT WE HAVE SEEN SINCE THE LAST SCENE, WHICH WAS LIKE, YEAH, I THINK YOU MIGHT HAVE TO COME BACK ON YOU.

I THINK YOU GUYS GO CUT BACK ON TWENTY ONE IN MAY OF 2021, THE JAIL POPULATION.

REGINA, YOU'RE BREAKING UP A LITTLE BIT.

DO YOU WANT TO TURN OFF YOUR CAMERA AND SEE IF THAT WORKS THAT YOU KNOW, YOU THEN TURN THE CAMERA THERE? THEY.

GOOD. SO THE JAIL POPULATION WAS STEADILY INCREASING IN MAY OF 2021.

AND AS YOU CAN SEE FROM THIS GRAPH THAT THAT HAS CONTINUED AND CONTINUED THROUGH OCTOBER OF TWENTY TWENTY ONE, WE FINALLY STARTED TO SEE A DECREASE IN THE JAIL POPULATION IN NOVEMBER OF 2021.

AND THIS DECREASE CONTINUED AND ACTUALLY WAS PRETTY SIGNIFICANT IN DECEMBER OF 2021.

AND I GO TO THE NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE.

ONE OF THE WAYS THAT WE MONITOR TRENDS IN THE JAIL POPULATION IS TO LOOK AT DAILY BOOKINGS AND RELEASES.

[00:10:02]

IN ORDER FOR THE JAIL POPULATION TO STAY WITHIN OUR APPROVED CAPACITY, WE HAVE TO BOOK AND RELEASE APPROXIMATELY THE NAME THE SAME NUMBER OF PEOPLE PER DAY.

SO AS YOU CAN SEE IN THIS GRAPH.

BOOKINGS WERE HIGHER THAN RELEASES FROM MAY OF TWENTY TWENTY ONE THROUGH OCTOBER OF TWENTY TWENTY ONE.

AND DURING THAT TIME, THE ADP WAS ALSO GRADUALLY INCREASING IN BOTH NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER OF TWENTY TWENTY ONE RELEASES FINALLY EXCEEDED BOOKINGS AND IN DECEMBER WE SAW A REDUCTION IN THE ADP.

THE INCREASE IN BOOKINGS IS ONE OF MANY THINGS THAT CAN BE ATTRIBUTED TO THE DECREASE IN THE ADP FOR DECEMBER.

THERE WERE ALSO OTHER THINGS HAPPENING, WITH MORE JURY TRIALS AND SEVERAL OTHER FACTORS THAT I KNOW GIGI WILL DISCUSS NEXT.

SO THOSE ARE THE MAIN GRAPHS THAT I THOUGHT PEOPLE COULD BENEFIT FROM SEEING.

AND I DON'T KNOW IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS, COMMISSIONER OR IF OTHER PEOPLE DO, BUT.

I'D BE HAPPY TO TRY TO HELP ANSWER THEM.

SO JUST A QUICK READ ON MY PORCH, SO I'M READING IT, THERE ARE MORE THAN 9000 PEOPLE IN JAIL, AND I'M JUST CURIOUS.

WHAT'S OUR CAPACITY? OUR APPROVED CAPACITY IS AROUND NINE THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED.

AND OBVIOUSLY, THESE ARE PEOPLE FROM WHAT I HAVE HEARD THE SHERIFF SAY AND PRESS ACCOUNTS THAT ARE MORE PRONE TO VIOLENCE, RIGHT? SO EVEN IF CAPACITY IS 9400.

NOW WE HAVE NINE THOUSAND, MANY OF WHOM PRESENT MORE ISSUES THAN THE NORM.

AND THE OTHER THING IS THAT WE QUARANTINE EVERY PERSON WHO GETS ARRESTED, SO WE NEED EXTRA SPACE TO DO THAT TO.

IF WE HAVE A. HOW DOES THIS COMPARE TO POPULATION PASS? HOW MANY TIMES HAVE WE BEEN THIS HIGH? UM, RECENTLY IN THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS, WE'VE BEEN PRETTY CONSISTENTLY HIGH IN JANUARY AND FEBRUARY AFTER THE HOLIDAYS, SO THIS IS ACTUALLY WHAT WE'VE SEEN, AT LEAST FOR THE LAST THREE JANUARY'S.

SO YOU THINK THAT IF NORMAL PATTERNS ARE TRUE AGAIN, IT MAY COME DOWN A BIT.

AFTER THIS, HOPEFULLY, HOPEFULLY, YES.

AND THEN JUST LAST QUESTION WILL OPEN UP TO ANYBODY.

HOW WILL WE COMPARE INTO OTHER.

COMPARABLE COUNTIES.

COUNTY JAILS IN THE STATE ALL AROUND THE COUNTRY.

DITTO IN THE STATE WHERE THE LARGEST JAIL THERE ISN'T A JAIL THAT IS CLOSE TO FIVE PERCENTAGE OF OCCUPANTS COMPARED TO CAPACITY.

SO I'M NOT REALLY FAMILIAR WITH OTHER PLACES IN THE STATE, BUT I COULDN'T I CAN TELL YOU THAT THE LARGEST JAIL IN THE COUNTRY IS L.A.

AND THEIR JAIL POPULATION IS THIRTEEN THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED AND NINETY PEOPLE AS OF YESTERDAY. AND THE POPULATION OF L.A.

IS MORE THAN TWICE THE SIZE OF HARRIS COUNTY, SO THAT WOULD BE THE LARGEST JAIL WE HAD TO MEASURE TO. AND THEN COOK COUNTY, WHICH INCLUDES CHICAGO, THEIR POPULATION IS SLIGHTLY LARGER THAN HARRIS COUNTY, AND THEIR JAIL POPULATION IS AROUND EIGHT THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED AND NINETY.

SO THEN I THINK IT MIGHT BE HELPFUL.

I KIND OF KNOW THE POP CULTURE WILL COME RIGHT AFTER US, BUT I'M JUST CURIOUS TO KNOW HOW CLOSE. THEY ARE TO CAPACITY.

FOUR INMATES COMPARED TO HOW CLOSE WE ARE IN OUR CAPACITY.

AND YOU CAN JUST SEND IT BACK TO US, BUT JUST BE CURIOUS BECAUSE I GUESS WHEN I WRITE THE CHALLENGES. YOU KNOW, NEW YORK DIDN'T HAVE A COUNTY SYSTEM, BUT L.A.

COOK US MARICOPA.

MARICOPA WAS NUMBER FOUR.

RIGHT? I'M NOT SURE WHO'S FIVE.

OK, I WILL GET THOSE NUMBERS BACK TO YOU.

ALEX, ANYTHING YOU WANT WANT TO ASK.

VIRGINIA, I DON'T HAVE ANY, BUT I WOULD BE HAPPY TO HEAR OTHER QUESTIONS.

I DIDN'T CATCH THAT VOICE, BUT GO AHEAD AND ASK WHO YOU ARE? I CAN'T SEE ALL OF US.

HEY, COMMISSIONER, THIS IS COMMISSIONER GARCIA.

THANK YOU. HEY, COMMISSIONER.

HEY, THANK YOU. AND VIRGINIA, I JUST WANTED TO MAKE THE POINT THAT CAPACITY DEFINING CAPACITY COULD BE A FLUID ISSUE BECAUSE.

I THINK TEXAS IS AMONG ONE OF THE FEW THAT ACTUALLY HAS A COMMISSION TO OVERSEE JOE POPULATIONS, AND SO MARICOPA UNDER JOE ARPAIO HAD THE AUTHORITY, I THINK SELF-IMPOSED THAT HE COULD DO THOSE TENT CITIES AND THINGS OF THAT NATURE.

SO DEFINING THAT THAT DEFINING WHO'S WHAT THE CAPACITY IS MAY BE A LITTLE BIT OF A CONSTRAINT TO CAPACITY OVERNIGHT, HUH? WELL, AND IT IS VERY FLUID BECAUSE WE ARE TECHNICALLY APPROVED.

[00:15:01]

WE ARE TECHNICALLY APPROVED FOR HIGHER CAPACITY, BUT WE DO NOT HAVE 13 OR SEVEN OPERATIONAL, SO I'M NOT INCLUDING THAT.

BUT YES, IF ANYBODY'S LISTENING FROM THE TEXAS COMMISSION ON JAIL STANDARDS, I KNOW THAT WE ARE APPROVED FOR OVER 10000.

BUT WE ALSO DON'T HAVE 13 TO SEVEN OPERATIONAL RIGHT NOW, AND WE'RE GETTING READY FOR A HUGE PLUMBING OPERATION AT SEVEN TO ONE.

SO REALLY, IF YOU REMOVE THE BEDS THAT WERE APPROVED FOR IT 13 07, THE THE THE EXACT COUNT IS NINE THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED AND FORTY NINE BEDS.

BUT YES, YOU'RE RIGHT, IT IS FLUID.

THANK YOU, COMMISSIONER GARCIA.

ANY OTHER COMMENTS OR QUESTIONS FROM ANYONE? MR. DO YOU MIND IF I ASK QUESTIONS? GO AHEAD, PLEASE. VIRGINIA, I WAS CURIOUS WHAT PERCENTAGE OF THE FOLKS CURRENTLY IN THE JAIL ARE BEING HELD PRETRIAL VERSUS FOLKS THAT ARE SERVING SOME KIND OF SENTENCE? OF GIVE ME ONE SECOND TO GIVE YOU THE NUMBER FOR TODAY.

AND I GUESS MAYBE MORE IMPORTANTLY, IN TERMS OF TRENDS, HOW MUCH YOU OWE YOUR NAME POPPED UP THAT SHE MET SIMPSON.

YOU GOOD? YEAH, THAT'S ME.

HOW YOU DOING? THE I GUESS THE MORE IMPORTANT QUESTION IS, HAVE WE SEEN ANY TRENDS, YOU KNOW, AS WE'VE SEEN THE POPULATION KIND OF GO UP AND DOWN? HAS IT GONE UP AS A RESULT OF PRETRIAL, HAS PRETRIAL AND NON PRETRIAL KIND OF GONE UP AT THE SAME TIME? WHAT KIND OF TRENDS ARE WE SEEING OVER THE PAST FEW MONTHS? I KNOW WITH COVE, SOME OF THESE NUMBERS ARE SOMEWHAT UNPREDICTABLE.

SO WE HAVE SEEN A LITTLE BIT.

WE SAW A PRETTY GOOD DECREASE IN THE FELONY PRETRIAL NUMBER TOWARDS THE END OF 2021, AND WE ARE WAITING FOR THE JANUARY NUMBER, WHICH WE WILL HAVE IN A COUPLE OF DAYS.

SO JUST THE PRETRIAL NUMBER, BOTH FELONY AND MISDEMEANOR FOR THE FULL COUNTY IS IN ABOUT THE 90.

YOU KNOW, 90 PERCENT OF THE JAIL POPULATION IS PRETRIAL.

UM, SO IT'S A PRETTY BIG NUMBER.

HOW DOES THAT COMPARE TO OTHER PLACES? THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION.

THAT'S ANOTHER THING I CAN LOOK INTO FOR YOU.

YOUR HONOR, I WILL WILL FOLLOW UP LATER ON, I'M JUST LISTING ALL OF THE VARIOUS DATA POINTS THAT EVERYBODY IS MENTIONING AND THE.

ON MAY, COMMISSIONER, MAY I MAKE A COMMENT, THIS IS VIVIAN KING.

YES, YES, THANK YOU.

I JUST WANT TO COMPLIMENT YOU IN THE JAIL BECAUSE IT'S REALLY PRETTY GOOD.

NO OTHER BIG COUNTY.

I JUST WANT TO MAKE AN OBSERVATION.

NO OTHER BIG COUNTY HAS HAD THE DEVASTATION OF A BUILDING FOR FOUR AND A HALF YEARS AND NO TRIALS. SO I THINK IT'S REALLY GOOD BECAUSE I HAVE CASES.

I'VE BEEN WITH THE DA'S OFFICE FIVE YEARS NOW AND SOME OF MY PENDING CAPITAL CASES, THE GUYS ARE STILL IN JAIL.

THEY'VE NEVER BEEN TRIED.

SO A LOT OF WHAT'S IN JAIL, NOT, YOU KNOW, OLDER, REALLY OLDER CASES.

SO CONSIDERING THE FACT THAT IT'S BEEN FOUR AND A HALF YEARS THAT WE'VE NOT HAD, YOU KNOW, TWENTY TWO FELONY TRIALS EVERY WEEK AND 16 MISDEMEANOR TRIALS COMPARING US TO OTHER COUNTIES, AND WE'RE STILL PRETTY GOOD.

I THINK WE'VE DONE A GREAT JOB EVERYBODY HAS AND THE JAILS DONE A GREAT JOB.

I JUST WANT TO MAKE THAT COMMENT.

IT'S A GOOD POINT. WE ARE PRETTY UNIQUE TO HAVE HAD A STORM AND THEN HAVE A PANDEMIC, YOU KNOW, AND BE LIKE NEW ORLEANS, IF THEY HAD KATRINA AND THEN A PANDEMIC CAME ALONG.

RIGHT? IT IS UNPRECEDENTED.

THANK YOU. I HEARD ANOTHER VOICE.

I'M SORRY IT WAS TECHNOLOGY.

YOU JUST GOT TO SAY WHO YOU ARE.

YOUR NAME POPS UP A LITTLE BIT LATER.

DID I HEAR ANOTHER VOICE COMMISSIONER? YES. THIS IS CATHERINE GRIFFIN, CAN YOU ALL HEAR ME? I KNEW THAT VOICE, YES, KATHERINE.

LISTEN, I JUST WANTED TO SAY I AM AT THE PRISON RIGHT NOW AND I CAN'T TAKE MY PHONE IN, SO I'M GOING TO HAVE TO LEAVE THE MEETING.

BUT I DID WANT TO.

I TALKED TO AMANDA AND I DO WANT ON THE NEXT MEETING TO BE ABLE TO MAKE A REPORT ON THE VICTIMS OF VIOLENT CRIMES THAT I'VE WORKED WITH WHILE BEING THE AMBASSADOR FOR THIS COMMITTEE. SO I WANTED TO HAVE THAT FOR YOU IF THAT'S ALLOWED, BUT I HAVE TO TURN THE PHONE OFF BECAUSE I CAN'T TAKE THE PHONE INSIDE THE PRISON.

YEAH. THANK YOU. THANKS FOR COMING ON.

WE'RE WORKING OUT TO HAVE YOU ON THE AGENDA AT SOME POINT, IF NOT THE NEXT.

BUT IT'S AN IMPORTANT SUBJECT AND WE'LL WORK WITH ANNA AND WE'LL WE'LL SCHEDULE IT AT SOME POINT. BUT THANK YOU.

THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH. BE CAREFUL.

ANY OTHER COMMENTS OR QUESTIONS ON THIS SUBJECT? A I HAD ONE MORE QUESTION, THIS IS MATT FROM THE ACLU AGAIN.

I'M CURIOUS IF ANY CHANGES IN STATE LAW AROUND PRETRIAL RELEASE AND BAIL.

I'D BE INTERESTED TO KNOW IF THAT'S IMPACT BECAUSE 90 PERCENT OF THE FOLKS HELD IN HARRIS

[00:20:01]

COUNTY JAIL ARE PRETRIAL.

I'D BE INTERESTED TO KNOW IF WE'VE SEEN AN UPTICK IN NUMBERS OR A DOWNTICK, I GUESS POTENTIALLY FOR MANY OF THE CHANGES IN LAW THAT WERE RECENTLY ENACTED.

SO I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT WE WOULD SEE.

NOT SURE. AND IT'S A LITTLE EARLY, ANNA, CAN WE TELL YET OR EVEN SOMEONE FROM VIRGINIA WISHES SINCE I WAS GOING TO SAY THAT THERE? THIS IS ALSO PROBABLY SOMETHING THAT NATALIE COULD SPEAK TO BECAUSE WE WERE TALKING ABOUT THINGS LIKE HOW SB SIX IS GOING TO IMPACT THE JAIL POPULATION AND FROM WHAT WE HAVE SEEN.

WE'RE NOT SURE HOW CONSISTENTLY IT WILL IMPACT THE JAIL POPULATION.

SO WE NEED A COUPLE MORE MONTHS BEFORE WE HAVE A BETTER IDEA OF IF IT'S GOING TO ADD TO THIS. I WAS THINKING A LITTLE EARLY TO KNOW THIS QUICK.

YEP, YEAH. IT'S MUCH APPRECIATED, AND ANYBODY ELSE WANT TO COMMENT ON THAT? MR. GARCIA, I CAN TELL BY YOU, YOUR FACE, YOU'VE THOUGHT ABOUT IT AS WELL.

OH, AND YOU MIGHT.

VIRGINIA DIANA, CHECK WITH OTHER URBAN COUNTIES IN THE STATE TO SEE IF THERE'S A LAG TIME FOR THEM TO KNOW THE IMPACT AS WELL OF CHANGES IN STATE LAW? A VERY GOOD QUESTION. OK.

[6. Discussion regarding Criminal Court Backlog ]

IF NOBODY ELSE, I'M GOING TO GO TO THE ITEM SIX, THE PATRIOT GUARD, DID I BUTCHER IT? OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET.

FOR MONTHS, WE'VE HEARD MORE DISCUSSIONS THAN WE EVER THOUGHT WE'D HEAR ABOUT A BACKLOG.

VIVIAN COMMENTED ON IT EARLIER.

IT'S A TOP PRIORITY FOR EVERYBODY.

UH, YOU KNOW, I WANT TO THANK EVERYBODY FOR WORKING ON THIS, JUDGE JOHNSON, IF YOU'D HAD JUDGE FITCH. THE DA'S OFFICE, YOU KNOW, FOLKS HAD BUDGET MANAGEMENT ALSO WANT TO WELCOME RICHARD WOOD TO THE HARRIS COUNTY AS THE NEW DISTRICT COURT ADMINISTRATOR.

BUT THE YOSRI IS YOURS TO TALK TO US.

YOU KNEW YOU DID DIRECTOR OF PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT AND OMB TO GIVE US AN OVERVIEW TO COURT BACKLOG. THANK YOU, COMMISSIONER.

I. I KNOW YOU GOT IT SPOT ON.

EVERYONE DOES CALL ME GGG JUST IN CASE YOU HEAR THAT GOING AROUND.

SO THANK YOU.

THANK YOU. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR GIVING ME THE OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK.

I HAVE BEEN TAKING LEAD IN CREATING THIS SPECIFIC REPORT, BUT THE EXPERTS ARE OBVIOUSLY RECORDS AND THE JUDICIAL STAKEHOLDERS.

SO PLEASE FORGIVE ME IF I HAVE TO PAUSE AND SAY YES, I'LL GET BACK TO YOU ON SPECIFIC DATA RELATED QUESTIONS BECAUSE A LOT OF THE REPORTS ACTUALLY COME FROM THE COURTS THEMSELVES AND THE DISTRICT CLERK'S OFFICE.

I JUST WANTED TO QUICKLY POINT OUT THAT OVER THE PAST YEAR WITH THE COMMUNITY, THE COUNTY HAS MADE SOME PRETTY SIGNIFICANT INVESTMENTS IN FOCUSING ON THE THE JUDICIAL BACKLOG, AND THE JUDICIAL STAKEHOLDERS HAVE BEEN SPENDING A LOT OF THEIR TIME PUTTING THAT MONEY HARD, HARD AT WORK. THE INVESTMENT THAT WILL LEAD WILL BE ON SOME VISIBLE PAIN POINTS THAT WERE IDENTIFIED BY THE JUDICIAL COMMUNITY.

THESE HAVE INCLUDED THINGS LIKE THE EXPANSION OF JURY OPERATIONS OVER THE MOVEMENT OF JURY OPERATIONS, EVIDENCE PROCESSING AND BUILDING ADDITIONAL COURT PROCESSING CAPACITY.

OVER THE PAST YEAR, WE'VE SEEN CLEARANCE RATES TICK UP BECAUSE OF THE HARD WORK THAT HAS BEEN PUT TOGETHER BY A PUT TOWARDS THIS BY THE JUDICIAL COMMUNITY.

WE'RE STILL IN THE PROCESS OF KICKING OFF SOME OF THE INVESTMENTS THAT WERE APPROVED, FOR INSTANCE, THESIS THE ADJUDGE PROGRAM I KNOW IS SLATED TO LAUNCH IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS.

HERE ON SPECIFICALLY, I'M GOING TO RUN THROUGH THIS REALLY QUICKLY BECAUSE I KNOW THAT THERE'S THERE'S PROBABLY GOING TO BE SOME QUESTIONS AND I WOULD ASK TO BE BRIEF.

BUT ON SPECIFICALLY AS AN UPDATE ON JURIES, WE'RE NOW EXECUTING THE MOVE TO THE JURY ASSEMBLY DOWNTOWN.

THIS IS ALL THANKS TO THE DISTRICT CLERK'S OFFICE AND FBM, OUR FACILITIES PLANNING GROUP ON THE OPERATIONAL PIECES AND A BIG THANK YOU TO JUDGES CALLED URBAIN BROWN AND CENTER ON THE JUDICIARY SIDE.

WORK THAT HAVE BEEN WORKING WITH US, ESPECIALLY TO OVERCOME SOME OF THE ISSUES THAT ARE THAT THESE DISRUPTIONS CAUSED.

AND THEN THE LAST QUICK PORTION OF MY RUNDOWN IS IF YOU COULD FLIP BACK ONE SLIDE.

THE INTERESTING FINDING FROM A MODEL THAT WAS CREATED BY JAD AND IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE DISTRICT COURTS ADMINISTRATION WAS THAT IN ORDER FOR US TO CONTINUE TO BRING DOWN THE

[00:25:05]

BACKLOG, WE ACTUALLY HAVE TO HAVE A VERY INTENTIONAL FOCUS ON ON BACKLOG, ON PRIORITIZING BACKLOG CASES. SO CONSISTENTLY LOOKING AT, FOR INSTANCE, DISPOSING, YOU KNOW, 40 PERCENT OF THE CASES THAT ARE CONSIDERED IN THE BACKLOG OVER THE COURSE OF TWO YEARS GIVES US VERY DIFFERENT RESULTS THAN ALLOWING US TO NATURALLY MOVE THROUGH CASES OVER TIME.

SO BEING ABLE TO MAKE SOME SPECIFIC ASSERTIONS ON THE TYPES OF CASES THAT WE PRIORITIZE IS ACTUALLY GOING TO BE PRETTY CRITICAL IN MOVING BACKLOG CASES OVER THE COURSE OF THE NEXT FEW YEARS. SO VERY QUICKLY, A SOUND BITE ON THAT AND THANK YOU AGAIN TO JAD AND THE DISTRICT COURTS FOR FOR SPENDING SOME TIME COMING UP WITH THIS ANALYSIS.

BUT I'M GOING TO PAUSE THERE. I KNOW THERE'S A LOT OF CONTENT, BUT WE ALSO WANT WANTED TO HAVE RICHARD WOOD IN ORDER TO TO WALK THROUGH SOME OF THE OTHER PIECES.

YOU WANT TO LET HIM WALK THROUGH THAT NOW? I CAN GO THROUGH SOME OF THE OTHER SLIDES AS WELL.

ABSOLUTELY. UM.

ON THE ON THE JURY OPERATIONS, THESE IF WE CAN SLIP FORWARD.

ONCE I THANK YOU, WE'VE BEEN WE'VE BEEN SEEING SOME VARIATION IN THE UTILIZATION OF JURY RATES OVER THE PAST FEW MONTHS.

THIS HAS BEEN PRIMARILY BECAUSE OF THE SCALING UP AND SCALING DOWN OF JURY OPERATIONS AT NRG. AND THEN IN THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER, WE ACTUALLY THERE WERE NO JURIES FOR THE FOR THE WEEK OF THANKSGIVING, AS IS VERY COMMON DURING THAT PROCESS OR DURING THAT SPECIFIC MONTH. SO WE'VE SEEN A LITTLE BIT OF VARIATION.

WE ALREADY COVERED THE MOVE OF THE JURY OPERATIONS BASE AND ARE STARTING TO SEE THE IMPACT OF INCREASED AVAILABILITY OF JURIES ON OVERARCHING CLEARANCE RATES AND THE NUMBER OF CASES DISPOSED.

WE ALSO HAVE THE ADDITION OF A 480 SECOND DISTRICT COURT THAT HAS HELPED US MOVE A LOT MORE OF THE OF THE CASES THROUGH THE EXISTING JUDICIAL POWER SLIPPING TO THE NEXT SLIDE.

ONE OF THE INVESTMENTS THAT WERE MADE WERE IN SCALING OPERATIONS IN THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE FOR BODY CAMERA FOOTAGE.

THIS HAS STARTED TO MOVE SOME A LOT MORE, A LOT MORE OF THE OPEN CASES AND OPEN BODY CAM FOOTAGE REQUESTS.

THEY ACTUALLY MADE A PRETTY INTERESTING CHANGE TO THE PROCESS WHERE INSTEAD OF WAITING FOR A TICKET TO COME THROUGH FROM THE DA'S OFFICE, THEY'RE NOW INTEGRATING DIRECTLY WITH THE DA'S OFFICE. TO SAY ANYTIME OF THESE COME THROUGH, WE SHOULD BE AUTOMATICALLY IMPORTING ANY SORT OF BODY CAMERA FOOTAGE SO THAT THERE'S NO DELAY IN THE TRANSFERRING OF THAT EVIDENCE. IT IS PRETTY CRITICAL, AND WE'RE EXCITED TO SEE THINGS LIKE THIS POP UP BETWEEN LAW ENFORCEMENT AND THE DA'S OFFICE AND THEIR DEBT TEAM HAS BEEN TAKING LEAD ON BOTH SIDES, ACTUALLY.

AND THIS IS THIS WE THINK IS GOING TO HELP MOVE A LOT OF THE CASES AND AND PROVIDE A LOT OF THE EVIDENCE IN CONJUNCTION WITH WHEN CASES ARE SET FOR JURY TRIALS.

ACTUALLY, THE INTERESTING PORTION OF THIS IS AS CASES ARE SET FOR JURY TRIALS, THEY ARE PRIORITIZED IN THE QUEUE IMMEDIATELY.

BODY CAMERA FOOTAGE IS RELEASED IN ORDER TO BE PREPARED FOR SAID EITHER TRIAL OR SETTING, AND THAT AIDS IN REDUCING THE NUMBER OF SETTINGS THAT COURTS HAVE TO HAVE BECAUSE THEY'RE NOT WAITING FOR EVIDENCE FROM THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE.

THANK YOU. I GOTCHA.

NO, GET ONE MORE POINT.

UM, SOME OF THE OTHER PROJECTS THAT WE HAVE LOOKED AT ARE THE EMERGENCY RESPONSE BUCKETS, OBVIOUSLY FIVE OF THEM HAVE BEEN TICKED OFF.

THREE IN THE FELONY COURT AND TWO MISDEMEANOR COURT.

THE PUBLIC DEFENDER WAS PROVIDED SEVEN ADDITIONAL POSITIONS TO DEAL WITH THE CASE BACKLOG AS WELL. BUT SINCE THE JUDGES ARE TO BE TICKED OFF IN THE NEXT TWO MONTHS AND THE DA'S EVIDENCE TEAM WAS PROVIDED, SOME MORE TECHNOLOGY STUFF AS WELL AS EVIDENCE TEMP STAFF POSITIONS IN ORDER TO BE ABLE TO PROCESS THE REQUESTS FOR OR WHAT THEY CALL THE TWO BS ON EACH INDIVIDUAL CASE AND TRACK OUT EVIDENCE.

ALL OF THIS SEEMS TO BE CHUGGING ALONG SWIMMINGLY, AND I THINK THAT WE'RE WE'RE STARTING TO SEE THE IMPACT OF THAT. THE EVIDENCE BASE HAS HAD HAS ONBOARDED A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES OVER THE LAST OVER THE LAST FEW MONTHS AND ARE STARTING TO INTEGRATE WITH THESE SMALLER LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES TO GET EVIDENCE ELECTRONICALLY AS

[00:30:05]

OPPOSED TO THROUGH PHYSICAL DVDS OR USBS AND OTHER PIECES OF EVIDENCE THAT TAKE A LOT LONGER TO PROCESS. IF YOU ASK.

AND I THINK THAT IS IT.

THANK YOU. ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS, COMMISSIONER, THIS IS ANNA.

I JUST I WANTED TO TAKE THE OPPORTUNITY TO JUST SAY WHAT A JOY IT HAS BEEN FOR US TO WORK WITH GGG. SHE'S JUST BEEN AMAZING AND WE'RE SO GRATEFUL TO HER FOR ALL OF THE WORK AND EFFORT THAT SHE'S PUTTING INTO.

SO I JUST WANT TO TAKE THE OPPORTUNITY TO SAY THANK YOU.

WE HAVE. WELL, COMMISSIONER, YES, SIR.

J.J., THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRESENTATION AND I'D LIKE TO GET A COPY OF IT.

BY THE WAY, HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TO DO A CASE STUDY AS TO WHY THE 40 40 SECOND IS PERFORMING SO WELL? SO I HAVE NOT YET GONE INTO THE SPECIFICS OF HOW THE CASES ARE MOVING IN THE 480 SECOND.

I DO KNOW THAT SOME OBVIOUSLY THERE'S BEEN AN INCREDIBLE AMOUNT OF HARD WORK.

I THINK THAT THERE'S ALSO THE INITIAL KICK OFF IS A LITTLE BIT SLOWER FOR A NEW COURT, BUT WHERE THERE ARE SPECIFIC NUMBER OF CASES THAT ARE ALLOCATED TO THE COURTS AND THAT MAY HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH THE AGE BANDS OF SPECIFIC CASES AS WELL.

BUT I HAVE NOT YET DONE A CASE STUDY ON SPECIFICALLY WHY, WHY? WHY THAT CLEARANCE RATE OR WHY THE MOVE? THERE ARE MORE IN THAT COURT.

YEAH, I WOULD ENCOURAGE.

WE HAVE SOME DIRECTION TO BE GIVEN TO DO JUST THAT, A CASE STUDY TO UNDERSTAND WHAT AND INTERVIEWING THE JUDGE WHO IS THE JUDGE THERE, BY THE WAY.

I BELIEVE THAT A NEW JUDGE WAS APPOINTED RECENTLY.

I'M NOT SURE IF ANYONE FROM THE DISTRICT COURTS IS ON TO ANSWER WHO THE JUDGE IS.

WELL, JUST THE SAME I WOULD I WOULD ENCOURAGE A CASE STUDY OF THAT COURT TO UNDERSTAND WHAT IT IS THAT'S ALLOWING THAT ONE TO FUNCTION EXPONENTIALLY.

WELL, I MEAN.

UH, WE WE WE ASSUME YOU GET INTO THE 80, 90 RANGE, THAT'S GREAT.

AND I WOULD WELCOME THAT ON ALL COURTS, BUT FOR THIS PARTICULAR COURT TO BE AT ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY SIX POINT CLEVELAND HAS SOME LESSONS TO BE LEARNED FROM IT.

YEAH. SO ALAN, YOU MAKE SURE AND I'LL CALL THE JUDGE WHO IS THAT? WE BELIEVE IT'S JUDGE MORRIS CANTU.

IT IS. IT IS A..

IT WAS APPOINTED BY THE GOVERNOR SINCE THAT WAS A NEAT PACKAGE.

OK. THE GUEST, THIS HAS GONE A FEW TIMES, I SEE YOU WITHOUT A MASK ON.

SPEAKING OF THE SIGNIFICANCE OF SMALL GROUPS, YOU KNOW, COMMISSIONER GARCIA JUST TOOK ME A SECOND AND WITH THAT LIGHT BEHIND YOU IN YOUR OFFICE, I COULDN'T.

I COULDN'T TELL. BUT SEEING YOU WITHOUT A MASK ON IS A GREAT PRESENTATION.

ANY MORE QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS? I WANT TO MAKE THIS GENERAL POINT, I THINK THAT WHEN I MENTIONED SMALLER GROUPS COMMISSIONED GARCIA, THE SMALLER MEETINGS THAT I'VE BEEN HAVING WITH YOU AND OTHERS, I THINK REALLY GIVE US A TEMPLATE OF WHAT WE OUGHT TO DO.

AND SO MY STAFF WILL BE REACHING OUT OR I WILL BE REACHING OUT TO AS MANY AS I CAN INDIVIDUALLY TO GET YOUR THOUGHTS ON WHAT WE OUGHT TO DO IN TERMS OF SMALLER COMMITTEES TO WORK OUT OF ANNA'S GOING AND GIVE EVERYBODY MY CELL PHONE AND EMAIL I READ NOW I SHOULD DO TWO THINGS DON'T SHARE A CELL PHONE AND DON'T SHARE THE EMAIL BECAUSE THEN I CAN'T READ IT. AND HERE'S THE RULE I HAVE.

I FIGURED THIS OUT MY SON.

IF YOUR CELL PHONE IS NOT IN MY PHONE, I WON'T ANSWER IT.

SO THERE MUST BE 7000 ENTRIES IN MY PHONE.

SO WHEN THESE PEOPLE ARE CALLING THAT, I DON'T KNOW, THEY'RE RUNNING FOR THIS IN MONTANA OR SOMEWHERE THE PHONE DOES NOT VIBRATE, IT MAKES NO NOISE.

THEY CAN JUST LEAVE A MESSAGE.

SO THE OTHER SIDE IS, YOU GOT TO GIVE ME YOUR PHONE NUMBER AND I'LL ANSWER THE PHONE.

IT'LL IT'LL VIBRATE.

BUT I WANT YOU TO FEEL LIKE WE HAVE THAT CONNECTION, AND I HOPE WE'LL DEVELOP THAT BOND WITH ONE ANOTHER AND WITH THE CONSULTING GROUP TO HELP US COME UP WITH A STRATEGIC PLAN.

BUT WE'RE NOT GOING TO WAIT. WE'RE GOING TO BREAK INTO SMALLER GROUPS.

YOU GOT IDEAS ON IT.

WHEN I FIRST GOT HERE COMMISSIONED, GARCIA IS MEETING, BUT IT WAS A NICE LUNCH TO MEET WITH. LAST ABOUT 30 MINUTES.

I'M LEARNING SOMETHING FROM IT, YOU KNOW, ONLY WHEN WE HAVE SOMETHING TO MEET ON, WE'LL DIG IN AS DEEP AS WE CAN AS SOON AS WE CAN WITH MEET IN PERSON.

[00:35:02]

THIS IS SO AWKWARD VIRTUALLY.

WE MIGHT GO TO HYBRID AT SOME POINT AND THEN GO TO THE OTHER SIDE.

BUT EVEN WITH 17, WE WANT TO BE CAREFUL.

I HOPE IN A MONTH THESE NUMBERS ARE GOING TO GO DOWN.

THERE ARE NO NO ONE HAS SIGNED UP FOR PUBLIC.

SPEAKING, BUT WE HAVE TO GIVE THEM THAT OPTION.

YOU KNOW, ALL WE'RE VIRTUAL, SO THEY ARE NO PUBLIC SPEAKERS.

AGAIN, GIVE US YOUR INPUT.

ANYBODY WANT TO BRING UP ANY OTHER BUSINESS, ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANT TO? UP, THANK YOU, COMMISSIONER GARCIA MOVES THAT WE ADJOURN IS OUR SECOND ALEX BUTTON, MAKES A SECOND THESE OBJECTS.

WE ARE ADJOURNED. THANK YOU ALL.

THANK YOU. ALL RIGHT.

* This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.