D2) Hearing - Update on Criminal Justice System Changes and Advancing Racial Equity and Inclusion in Santa Barbara County
(Est. Time 3 HOURS)
The Board of Supervisors held a hearing on June 11 to receive input as to issues of racial equity and the criminal justice system, and directed staff to return with information on the local system of incarceration and ways to safely lower the jail inmate population. On July 16, staff returned with 13 recommendations developed by the criminal justice departments and Behavioral Wellness.
At the two previous Board hearings, members of the community voiced concern and requested changes in the criminal justice system. County government offices play significant roles along with local police departments and the courts, and all act within the framework of state and federal laws and fiscal realities. The effectiveness of this complex system where no single entity has overall control rests on its ability to cultivate and maintain public trust, which it must do through collaborative efforts and
continued demonstration of just, transparent and fair treatment.
This report provides an update to the July 16, 2020 hearing and a status report on the Board’s requests. It also provides a broader context of how the County can start a systematic approach to advancing racial equity in and with the community, and within the County government organization and culture. The Board set aside $500,000 in one-time funding at the June 2020 budget hearings. Since that time, requests have been made for use of that funding described in this report for recommendation. Since the funding was already appropriated, the Board can make allocations with a majority vote.