Thursday, August 1, 2019
Oarland City Jail Closure Illustrates Naive Leadership Essay
The primary job of a city government is to ensure public safety for all its dwellers and visitors. However, the city council has refused to meet or acknowledge this critical and prime responsibility. Instead, it hands subsidies to favored developers. And swelling redevelopment empire, likewise, smothers day-to-day city services. The City of Oakland California jail was closed on July 1, 2005. One year later, the verdict is in: closing the jail was a dumb move. It appears that there are more unfavorable consequences to this city initiative than favorable ones. Hence, the aim of this research proposal is to study the effect or the impact of the closure of the Oakland City jail on communities within the city. Some news items highlighting crime statistics that have occurred in the City of Oakland California were gathered to serve as primary materials for this undertaking. For example, Ã¢â¬Å"Rape was up nearly 12 percent; car thefts and burglaries up nearly 30 percent; robbery up 18 percent Ã¢â¬â some of it in neighborhoods not accustomed to crime,Ã¢â¬ reports ABC 7 News (6/12/06); Ã¢â¬Å"OaklandÃ¢â¬â¢s murder rate is rising five times faster than the country at large,Ã¢â¬ (ABC 7 News, 6/12/06); and Ã¢â¬Å"In Oakland, a city of 400,000, the death rate is 25.6 per 100,000 people, four times higher than the national rate of 6.1, according to the Alameda Country Public Health Department reportÃ¢â¬ (Mamberto, October 2, 2006) are indicative of something undesirable are happing in the area. This research paper will seek the affirmation or nullification of this hypothesis statement: The reduction of the Oakland Police Department Fiscal Year budget for Fiscal Year 2005-2007 resulting in the closure of the city jail and subsequent elimination of 89 full-time positions has negative impact on the communityÃ¢â¬â¢s safety. A correlation of the Ã¢â¬Å"Independent VariableÃ¢â¬ and Ã¢â¬Å"Dependent VariableÃ¢â¬ will be designed and structured accordingly from which conclusions will be derived from. Appropriate statistical tools, like, Ã¢â¬Å"sampling techniques,Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"hypothesis testing,Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"measurement of central tendency,Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"descriptive statistics,Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"probability statistics,Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"inferential statistics,Ã¢â¬ among other, will be used. Data shall come from these sources: Ã (1) records of the Oakland Police Department (OPD); (2) relevant literature, like, news items from TV, radio and print media; (3) periodicals; and (4) interviews. Introduction One year ago, on July 1, 2004, the Oakland City council closed the city jail. It was labeled a budget-cutting move, for an estimated saving of no more than $3 million per year. A year later, the council just finished spending a $16 million budget surplus. Oakland lost a facility permanently on the basis of fluctuating budget numbers. The jail closure has further crippled police work. OPD officers tell us: The processing time to put a detained or arrested person into the jail has more than doubled from 20 minutes to 45 minutes. In effect, the already understaffed department has lost another several police officers. Criminals are now taken to the CountyÃ¢â¬â¢s Glenn E. Dyer Detention Facility, but the sheriffs there are not happy about the increased workload. They use various legal excuses that force Oakland to take the criminal all the way out to the Santa Rita jail. When Oakland had a jail, prisoners with minor health issues could be kept there and provided health care. Without a jail, the County pushes the prisoners to Highland Hospital, where Oakland police must guard them for hours or days. In an interview of some local residents, for example, a 20-year resident of 14th Ave. and E. 27th said she never experienced or witnessed any violent crimes until October of 2005Ã¢â¬âshe witnessed a man stabbed to death in front of her house; another interviewee, a 15-year resident of Grand Street, said his house was burglarized on July 2006 for the first time and a month later his neighbor was robbed at gun point in front of his house. These incidents are no ordinary occurrences in a community whose people expect continued and lasting peace and order as well as public safety. The closure of the Oakland City jail and the resultant elimination of 89 OPD personnel, it seems, have something to do with this apparent serious problem besetting Oakland City today that threatens the social and emotional well being of its residents and visitors. Where are the city council members today who made the decision to close the city jail? Are they informed about or are they reading what are trumpeted by media outlets? Do they listen to affected local residents? Have they realized the consequences of their decision lately? Do they have corrective plans to address the apparently undesirable results of their group decision? Literature Review The news items and results of personal interview of Oakland residents pertaining to the closure of the Oakland City jail will serve as initial sources of research data. Following are summaries of literature review for this undertaking (see complete literature in Appendix A and Appendix B). KTVU Channel (11/22/06) carries a report of violent crime rise of 34.2% in 2006. Oakland city Ã¢â¬Å"still ranks high inÃ¢â¬ crime category,Ã¢â¬ reports CRIME (n.d.). This same media reports Ã¢â¬Å"132 murdersÃ¢â¬ committed as of November 2006 by an average age of 28 years old. The rate of killings increased to 21% from 94 in 2005 compared to 88 in 2004 and Ã¢â¬Å"majority of the crimes being committed occur in the East and West parts of the city.Ã¢â¬ ABC 7 News (July 11) also reports worrying crime occurrences in Oakland having a Ã¢â¬Å"soaring murder rate thatÃ¢â¬â¢s almost double the number of homicides right now compared to this time last year.Ã¢â¬ And this demography can reach a Ã¢â¬Å"triple digit rate by end of the year,Ã¢â¬ if authorities do not start to act today. There is a stark difference of killings this timeÃ¢â¬âvictims are younger and their lives were pluck cold-bloodedly along populated alleys of the city. Crime statistics have now reached the attention of national level with the involvement of FBI authoritiesÃ¢â¬âthis development maybe reassuring to some but the other side of the fence confirms something ugly about the situation. Another ABC 7 News (6/12/06) circulates a headline about OaklandÃ¢â¬â¢s rising murder rate to be Ã¢â¬Å"five times faster than the country at large.Ã¢â¬ The reason attributed in the Ã¢â¬Å"big jump in murderÃ¢â¬ is Ã¢â¬Å"readily available handguns, gang and drug activity and disrespect for life.Ã¢â¬ WhatÃ¢â¬â¢s happening? Another disturbing information spread by the media is about rape. This time, it is up nearly 12 percent. Although Oakland police establishment is trying to do something to at least contain the alarming situation including Ã¢â¬Å"saturating high crime neighborhoods,Ã¢â¬ but the prospect of effective prevention is far from reality. North Gate News (October 2, 2006), likewise, has another corroborating story for the day. Victims are relatively young individuals in their early adulthood of 20 to 24 and victims were identified to be African Americans. There is something contemptible about the figures reported, like, Ã¢â¬Å"45% [of the offenders] were actually under the care of the criminal justice system Ã¢â¬â either on parole or probation Ã¢â¬â when the murder occurred.Ã¢â¬ And why Ã¢â¬Å"80% of violent crimes in the county occur in Oakland or to Oakland residentsÃ¢â¬ ? Killings in the area keep rising. And what is really alarming to peace-loving residents of Oakland is the admission that Ã¢â¬Å"WeÃ¢â¬â¢re in the middle of a public health crisis here . . .Ã¢â¬ These news items have one thing in common: emphasis on the increasing crime rate in Oakland City after the closure of the city jail. Relevant books, magazines, and professional journals are considered to be reviewed for this research work, too. Methodologies Crime-related research data will be collected from OPD records for the period January 1, 2003 up to December 31, 2005. These crime-related data will be classified and their occurrences will be tabulated statistically using applicable statistical tools, like, descriptive statistics, measurement of central tendency, among other. Statistics made by other entities will be considered; and, thus, are planned to be gathered accordingly. A survey of residents in a West Oakland area is consideredÃ¢â¬âthe data to be gathered will be pertaining to their feelings of security and insecurity as well as safety in their area stimulated by recent rise of criminality which is hypothesized to be the result of the closure of the city jail. A specific methodology on: (1) how the research questions are studied, (2) how existing data will be used, (3) how new data generated by the researcher will be incorporated to existing data, (4) how the primary research will be brought to the study, (5) how survey data will be used, and (6) how a sample population will be used, will be developed accordingly prior to the commencement of the research work. A correlation between the independent variable and dependent variable (see below) will be designed and structured accordingly from which conclusion will be derived. The independent variable: Ã the Oakland Police DepartmentÃ¢â¬â¢s Fiscal Year 2005-2007 budget reduction and subsequent elimination of 89 full-time positions (see Table 1) gave rise to the dependent variable; The dependent variable: Ã Ã Ã Ã a negative effect on the communityÃ¢â¬â¢s safety. The expected or hypothesized negative impact of the closure of the city jail will be measured through the responses of respondents in a survey about their perceptions on the matter. On the other hand, the communityÃ¢â¬â¢s safety will also be measured in the same manner as the former through survey made on the residents in which crime statistics are prevalent. Table 1. Full Time Equivalent Position Eliminated # Title/Position Number 1. Watch correction Officer supervisor 5 2. Court correction officer 1 3. Control desk 1 4. Public Representative Service 1 5. Property Correction Officer 3 6. Admitting 2 7. Floor Correction Officer 3 8. Search 4 9. Print Room (1) 3 10. Print Room (2) 3 11. Watch Correction Officer 3 12. Assistant Watch 2 13. Booking Correction Officer 3 14. 1st Floor 3 15. 2nd Floor 36 16. Jail Kitchen staffs 12 17. Jail Utility Workers 4 Total Full Time Equivalent Position Eliminated 89 Results and Findings Table 2 shows an annual data sheet that will be used to capture data from OPD. Table 2.1 is a data sheet that will be used to capture data from OPD which is related to Table 2. Table 3 is a survey question that will capture the individual perceptions of respondents about the effect of the closure of the city jail in their area. Table 4 shows a survey question that will capture the individual perceptions of respondents how they are affected emotionally by the perceived rise of criminality in the area. The data classifications shown below are not limited in themselves, i.e., other data structures are considered upon the approval of the final research proposal. Table 2. Annual data sheet (data to be obtained from OPD) Measures Ã Metrics from which data are derived Data obtained from OPD (Year 2003) Data obtained from OPD (Year 2004) Data obtained from OPD (Year 2005) (Research) Average processing time to put a detained or arrested person into jail (minutes/arrest) # minutes 45 minutes # minutes Average number of criminals taken to the CountyÃ¢â¬â¢s Glenn E. Dyer Detention Facility (#/per month) # per month # per month # per month Average number of criminals taken to Sta. Rita Jail per month # per month # per month # per month Average number of prisoners brought to Highland Hospital per month # per month # per month # per month Average number of guards assigned to guard prisoners brought to Highland Hospital per month # per month # per month # per month Table 2.1 Monthly data sheet (data to be obtained from OPD) Metrics from which data are derived Years, 2003, 2004, 2005 Ã Total Ã Ave. J F M A M J J A S O N D Average processing time to put a detained or arrested person into jail (minutes/arrest) Number of criminals taken to the CountyÃ¢â¬â¢s Glenn E. Dyer Detention Facility (#/per month) Number of criminals taken to Sta. Rita Jail per month Number of prisoners brought to Highland Hospital per month Number of guards assigned to guard prisoners brought to Highland Hospital per month Table 3. Survey question on perception of the effect of the closure of the City Jail Survey question YES NO NOT SURE Do you think the closure of the Oakland City jail is the main cause of the rise of criminality in the area? Table 4. Survey question on how the emotional effect of the perceived rise of criminality in the area Ã Ã Survey Question Ã Ã Ã Not affected at all Ã Mildly affected but do not feel afraid Reasonably affected that I feel afraid being victimized Ã Affected that I feel constantly afraid being victimized Very affected that it makes me feel nervous most of the time How much are you affected, emotionally (e.g., afraid that I will become a victim of crime) by the rise of criminality in the area? Conclusions and Recommendations: After the completion of the planned activities for the research work and the consolidation of all pertinent information that made up this research, the manner of reporting the research findings and conclusion will be given special consideration considering the contents and scope of the undertaking. After submitting my original research work to my professor, I plan to discuss the results with county officials of Oakland California and hope to be able to convince concerned local county officials to support my recommendation for the reinstatement of the Oakland city jail to its former stature. Appendices The Appendices section will contain graphs and other objects that are integral part of the research. In this Research Proposal, Appendix A contains a list of literature (news items pertaining to the city of Oakland jail closure); while Appendix B contains the results of my personal interview of some of the residents of Oakland city. APPENDIX A Ã¢â¬â List of Literature (News Items) Pertaining to the City of Oakland California Jail Closure Ã KTVU Channel Ã¢â¬â2 news 11/22/06 reported that violent crimes rise 34.2% this year Summary of Part 1 Crime Offenses, 2003 Ã¢â¬â 2005 Ã Year Ã Murder Forcible Rape Ã Robbery Felony Assault Ã Burglary Total Larceny Auto Theft Total Offenses 1 Year % Change 2003 109 267 2,445 2,762 4,568 12,551 5,511 28,213 -5.56% 2004 82 262 2,190 2,616 4,324 10,984 6,877 27,335 -3.11% 2005 93 293 2,590 2,543 5,646 7,087 8821 27,073 -0.96% www.oaklandnet.com Ã Ã CRIME www.wikepedia.org Though substantial gains have been made as evidenced from the Uniform Crime Reports published by the FBI, the city still ranks high in California for most categories of crime. In the 2006 Morgan Quitno crime rankings, Oakland is ranked the eighth most dangerous city nationwide. Though it fared better than the California cities of Richmond, and San Bernardino, Oakland is the second most dangerous in California after Compton. As of November 2006, Oakland had 132 murders, with the majority of victims and/or murderers from an African American background and the average age being 28 years old.  The murder rate increased 21% from only 94 murders in 2005, compared to 88 murders in 2004 being the lowest number down from 108 killings in 2003. The past few years into the millennium saw the lowest amount of murders, compared to the 1990Ã¢â¬â¢s when there were known to be an average of 160 murders in Oakland each year. The majority of the crimes being committed occur in the East and West parts of the city. ABC 7 NEWS OaklandÃ¢â¬â¢s Murder Rate Is Soaring Almost Double Last Year At Same Time Ã By Vic Lee July 11 Ã¢â¬â KGO Ã¢â¬â Oakland is dealing with a soaring murder rate thatÃ¢â¬â¢s almost double the number of homicides right now compared to this time last year. Unless police can slow down the murder spike, the city could face a triple digit murder rate by the end of the year. Ã The graveyard display next to this church is sobering testimony. There may be more murders, but the profiles of both suspects and victims and the way they die have changed little. The killers and those killed are usually young African American men and the victimsÃ¢â¬â¢ last breaths were taken mostly on sidewalks. Off. Roland Holmgren, Oakland police spokesman: Ã¢â¬Å"Most of our homicides happen on the streets and most of our homicides happen due to a gun.Ã¢â¬ Behind the trigger? The usual causes. Drugs and gangs. This year, the face of those gangs is changing. Lt. Ersie Joyner, Oakland police homicide: Ã¢â¬Å"Hispanic gangs are up 20 to 25 percent. The victims are also young male Hispanics.Ã¢â¬ In 1992, homicides reached record levels in Oakland. By July of that year, 106 people had been murdered, up more than 40 percent from the previous year. City officials considered drastic measures like curfews, street barricades and check points. The FBI and the state attorney general sent help to Oakland police. Likewise, federal narcotics agents have now joined forces with Oakland police who are now targeting high crime areas. Off. Roland Holmgren, Oakland police spokesman: Ã¢â¬Å"This strategic area command gives command the flexibility to move officers throughout the city to attack hot spots.Ã¢â¬ That strategy appears to be paying off with other crimes like rapes and domestic violence. Police have a problem in solving these crimes, which is common in other cities as well, and thatÃ¢â¬â¢s the reluctance of witnesses to come forward. The city of Oakland is just 23 shy of last yearÃ¢â¬â¢s record for the entire year. ABC 7 News 6/12/06 OaklandÃ¢â¬â¢s murder rate is rising five times faster than the country at large. WhatÃ¢â¬â¢s the reason for the big jump in murder? Law enforcement cites readily available handguns, gang and drug activity and disrespect for life. Other crimes in Oakland showed big increases too. Rape was up nearly 12 percent; car thefts and burglaries up nearly 30 percent; robbery up 18 percent Ã¢â¬â some of it in neighborhoods not accustomed to crime. Oakland police are trying a number of different strategies to fight crime including saturating high crime neighborhoods with police as they did this weekend. North Gate News Online Ã¢â¬â Reporting by the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism Murders Go Up and Oakland Tries to Understand Why By Carola Mamberto , October 2, 2006 09:56 AM OAKLAND Ã¢â¬â As murders continue to plague the streets of Oakland Ã¢â¬â Most killings took place in the West Oakland and Elmhurst neighborhoods, and often did not have a known motive, although the police department believes they were mainly gang-related. The highest rate of murders was among 20 to 24 year olds. Victims were mainly African American (77%), as were suspects (63%). The average age of suspects was 28 years. The majority of them were not employed anywhere: 45% were actually under the care of the criminal justice system Ã¢â¬â either on parole or probation Ã¢â¬â when the murder occurred. Ã¢â¬Å"Violent homicide and suicide take the lives of more than 50,000 people in the United States each year, and are the third and fourth leading causes of death for people under 39 years of age. In Oakland, a city of 400,000, the death rate is 25.6 per 100,000 people, four times higher than the national rate of 6.1, according to the Alameda Country Public Health Department report. More than 80% of violent crimes in the county occur in Oakland or to Oakland residents. Murders are up 21% from last year: so far there have been 20 more killings in the city compared to September 2005. Ã¢â¬Å"WeÃ¢â¬â¢re in the middle of a public health crisis here, itÃ¢â¬â¢s very important that we look at the problem in a more comprehensive way and start addressing the root causes of violence rather than its consequences,Ã¢â¬ said Beyers. Ã¢â¬Å"ItÃ¢â¬â¢s all about thinking of it as a preventable disease,Ã¢â¬ he said. So far, the City of Oakland has adopted a mixed strategy to curb violence, combining tough enforcement with more prevention-oriented projects. In 2004, voters passed the Measure Y which sought $19.9 million a year for crime prevention, parolee jobs, youth programs and 63 new police officers, all paid through increased parking fees and a 10-year annual parcel tax. The measure is still far from being implemented, city officials say, mainly because of staff shortages, especially within the Oakland Police Department. This summer, as murder rates spiraled, police unveiled a plan to trace the cityÃ¢â¬â¢s 100 most violent residents. Ã APPENDIX B Ã¢â¬â Results of Personal Interview with Local Residents of Oakland City (A Prime Research Data) Ã Following are the results of my personal interview with some of the local residents of Oakland City, California: Mr. Yoichai who is a formal prison guard expressed anger over the closed of the jail, as a result of the closure he lost his job. Mr. Pace & Mr. Bunger who were Correction Officers that lost their job as a result of the jail closure. These two gentlemen explains that as the result of the jail closure, not enough officers patrolling the streets because most officers are spending a lot of time on the freeway stuck in traffic ( during heavy traffic hour) trying to transport arresters to the Alameda County Jail. Once they get their they have to await longer than the Oakland City Jail.Ã Investigators have to go all the way to the County Jail to interview inmates versus where they can just walk to the Oakland City Jail and get it done quicker and more convenience.Ã Also the cost of gas, wear & tear of vehicles and overtime pay for those officers who get stuck on freeway and for officers who have to stay late or come in early while other officers are stuck on freeway. Mrs. Lauder who lives in 14th Ave and E. 27th for 20+ years and never experience or witness and violent crimes until October of 2005.Ã She witnessed a man was stabbed to death in front of her house. Mr. Pardoza who lives on Grand Street for 15+ years his house for the first time wasÃ burglarized on July 2006 and a month later his neighbor was robbed at gun point in front of his house Ã Bibliography ABC 7 News (6/12/06). Bennis, W. (1989). On Becoming a Leader. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company. Bowerman, B. 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