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
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.
This Summarized Recommendation is pending review by the Office of Correction and Law Enforcement Monitoring (OCLEM) as part of the Jail Reforms Audit to assess the status of implementation.
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.