Grievance Policies and Procedure (GRV)

As of September 1, 2020

The pending summarized recommendations listed below reflect the most current information and actions taken since the previous Board Study Session.  Summarized recommendations marked as complete have been updated for the March 10, 2020 Board Study Session.​​​

There are 49 recommendations in the category of Grievances Policies and Procedures that are included in the Summarized Recommendations below.​

    Steps Taken: A Grievance Unit has been established by the Sheriff’s Office.

    The Sheriff’s new Grievance Policy has been finalized and posted on the Sheriff’s website. Revised forms are also now being used in all facilities. Custody staff was trained on how to use the new system and the Grievance Unit will conduct follow-up at squad meetings. Inmates also received information and instructions on the new grievance process and forms via an informational video that was played on loop in the housing units and intake areas as part of the Inmate Information Bulletin.

    This Summarized Recommendation has been completed.

    Budget Status: The Board approved the following:

    • FY 2017 Adopted Budget: 1 Sheriff’s Correctional Lieutenant position and 2 Management Analyst positions ($502,408) to track, investigate, and respond to grievances.
    • FY 2018 Adopted Budget: 2 Senior Management Analyst positions ($338,062) to conduct audits, provide quality assurance of grievance responses, identify trends, and produce training materials regarding grievances.

    Source Report(s): Human Relations Commission, Blue Ribbon Commission on Improving Custody Operations

    Responsible Department(s): Sheriff’s Office

    Master List Nos.: 23, 25, 27, 29, 33, 40, 41, 43, 327, 328, 488, 489, 495, 497

    Review Date: FGOC reviewed on November 10, 2016.​

    Steps Taken: The Sheriff’s Office is configuring an automated tracking system for grievances. Collection boxes were installed and the collection process was revised. Forms are being revised and the tablet RFP will include a requirement for inmates to submit grievances electronically also, via the tablet or a kiosk.

    This Summarized Recommendation has been completed.

    Budget Status: The Board approved the following:

    • FY 2017 Adopted Budget: 1 Sheriff’s Correctional Lieutenant position and 2 Management Analyst positions ($502,408) to track, investigate, and respond to grievances.
    • FY 2018 Adopted Budget: 2 Senior Management Analyst positions ($338,062) to conduct audits, provide quality assurance of grievance responses, identify trends, and produce training materials regarding grievances.

    Source Report(s): Sheriff’s Jail Reform Plan, Blue Ribbon Commission on Improving Custody Operations, Zisser

    Responsible Department(s): Sheriff’s Office

    Master List Nos.: 28, 32, 34 - 39, 379 - 381, 383, 384, 496, 498, 511, 514

    Review Date: FGOC reviewed on November 10, 2016.

    Steps Taken: Last year, PREA information was added to the end of the Inmate Orientation Video inmates view prior to housing. Both the Inmate Rule Book and the Orientation Video are being updated.  The PREA video continuously plays in the following areas: Men's and Women's Intake/Booking, Main Jail Classification, and Elmwood Processing. Inmates have access to the important information relayed through this video.

    This Summarized Recommendation is complete to the extent the Sheriff’s Office concurs with the recommendations.

    Budget Status: The Board approved the following:

    • FY 2016 Adopted Budget: 1 Sheriff’s Correctional Sergeant position and 1 Sheriff’s Correctional Deputy position ($314,500) were added for the Professional Compliance unit.
    • November 2015: Also for the Professional Compliance Unit, 1 Sheriff’s Correctional Lieutenant, 1 Sheriff’s Correctional Sergeant, and 2 Sheriff’s Correctional Deputy positions were added ($741,000)
    • FY 2017 Adopted Budget: 5 Sheriff’s Correctional Deputy positions and 1 Clerk position ($827,539) were added to the Office of Operational Standards and Inspection Unit to support policy and compliance work.

    County Administration and the department are evaluating to determine if additional resources are needed.

    Source Report(s): Zisser

    Responsible Department(s): Sheriff’s Office

    Master List Nos.: 493- 494

    Review Date: FGOC reviewed on November 10, 2016.​

    Steps Taken: All complaints are now funneled through the Internal Affairs Unit for review to determine what the best course of investigative action will be. Likewise, all grievances will be forwarded to the Grievance Unit for the same review.

    This Summarized Recommendation has been completed.

    Budget Status: The Board approved the following:

    • February 2016: 1 Sheriff’s Sergeant for the Internal Affairs Unit ($229,610).
    • FY 2017 Adopted Budget: 2 Sheriff’s Sergeant positions and 1 Management Analyst position to the Internal Affairs Unit ($591,854).
    • FY 2017 Adopted Budget: 1 Sheriff’s Correctional Lieutenant position and 2 Management Analyst positions ($502,408) to track, investigate, and respond to grievances.
    • FY 2018 Adopted Budget: 2 Senior Management Analyst positions ($338,062) to conduct audits, provide quality assurance of grievance responses, identify trends, and produce training materials regarding grievances.

    Source Report(s): Sheriff’s Jail Reform Plan, Blue Ribbon Commission on Improving Custody Operations, Zisser

    Responsible Department(s): Sheriff’s Office

    Master List Nos.: 24, 490, 499 – 501

    Review Date: FGOC reviewed on November 10, 2016.​

    Steps Taken: The Grievance Unit is continuing to work to address these recommendations.

    The ACes Inmate and Grievance Appeal Tracking System (ACes) was implemented on June 5, 2017 to not only electronically document all inmate complaints, but also to highlight areas of opportunity for improvements in the jails through statistical analysis and review. The Grievance Unit regularly provides data analysis to all division leaders and business unit managers through various montly reports, and to the public through the Monthly Grievance Dashboard and the Bi-Annual Report. The Grievance Unit has an established objective to respond to all grievances meaningfully within 30 days. Some grievances necessitate further investigation measures in order to provide a resolution for the inmate and so achieving the 100% timeliness objective might not always be feasible. The 4th quarter of 2019, the Sheriff's Office reported that 99.56% of all submitted grievances were answered and returned back to the inmate within 30 days of their submission date; yielding an all-time high for the timeliness rate since the adoption of the ACes System in June 2017. The Sheriff's Office also reports that the Elmwood Men's Facility reached a 100% timeliness rate for that quarter. The Sheriff’s Office had an overall timeliness rate of 98.72% across all facilities for the entire calendar year of 2020.

    The Grievance Unit is taking steps to reduce the role that sergeants have in entering initial data into the Grievance tracking database, ACeS. This will enhance consistency for entering and categorizing grievances and provide sergeants with more time to conduct hands-on supervision, monitoring, and training of staff to ensure proper compliance with policies and regulations. However, this has become increasingly difficult since one Senior Management Analyst and one Law Enforcement Clerk position were deleted from the Grievance Unit during the FY21 Budget Reduction process. The Sheriff’s Office is working with the new Tablet provider (GTL) to automate Inmate Grievance submittals which sends the grievance directly to the Grievance Unit and removes the sergeant from the initial process. Grievance Lock boxes will only be used for those inmates who chose to submit a grievance in paper form.

    Training in the Grievance Unit has been ongoing.  The Grievance Unit has attended training in the following areas to enhance their knowledge base of jail operations:

    • Classification: Introduction to the new security levels- Low, Medium, High

    • Classification: Introduction to Gangs

    • PREA Policy

    • LGBTQI Training

    • ADA Training

    The Grievance Unit continues to conduct training for new staff and refresher training for both Sheriff’s Office personnel and staff from Custody Health Services.

    The Sheriff’s Office has completed this recommendation to the extent possible, but efforts to utilize grievance data to identify areas for improvement will be on going.

    The Sheriff’s Office indicates they have a continued need for additional staffing to implement this recommendation. Additional staffing needs will be reviewed as part of the staffing study.

    The Grievance Unit provides monthly reports on inmate grievance trends to the Board's Public Safety and Justice Committee and also posts public reports on grievance data on the Sheriff's Jail Reforms website. The Grievance Unit has continued to refine its metrics so as to provide meaningful data within the limits of the ACeS System. The completion of the Jail Management System (IRIS) will expand its analytical capabilities with respect to inmate grievances.

    Budget Status: The Board approved the following:

    • FY 2017 Adopted Budget: 1 Sheriff’s Correctional Lieutenant position and 2 Management Analyst positions ($502,408) to track, investigate, and respond to grievances.
    • FY 2018 Adopted Budget: 2 Senior Management Analyst positions ($338,062) to conduct audits, provide quality assurance of grievance responses, identify trends, and produce training materials regarding grievances.
    • FY 2020 Adopted Budget: Added one Law Enforcement Clerk position in the Grievance Unit to assist with the process to provide timely responses ($96,598).

    Source Report(s): Sheriff’s Jail Reform Plan, Blue Ribbon Commission on Improving Custody Operations, Zisser

    Responsible Department(s): Sheriff’s Office

    Master List Nos.: 42, 382, 385-386, 491

    Review Date: FGOC reviewed on November 10, 2016.

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