1995-1996 Santa Barbara County Grand Jury


June 27, 1996

Honorable William L. Gordon
Presiding Judge, Santa Barbara County Superior Court
Santa Barbara, California

Dear Judge Gordon:

The purpose of this communication is to officially transmit to you this Final Report from the 1995-96 Santa Barbara County Grand Jury.

We have produced and released to the public 19 Interim Final Reports at varying intervals during our 12 months of service. These reports are directed into three major functional areas and provide balanced coverage of Santa Barbara County issues, as follows:

Santa Barbara County Government

County Agreement with Prison Health Services, Inc.
County Clerk-Recorder-Assessor Department
Department of Social Services/GAIN Program
Issues in Planning & Development
Performance Audits
Privatization Issues in County Government

Municipalities and Unincorporated Areas

City of Santa Barbara TV Cable Franchise Renewal
City of Santa Barbara Fire Prevention and Investigation
Santa Barbara Police Department Peacekeeping Efforts During Fiesta
Goleta Area Planning Commission
Preparedness for Disasters
The City of Solvang and State Water

Mandated by Law

Audit and Finance
City Detention Facilities
County Detention Facilities
Juvenile Detention Facilities
Inmate Death of May 4, 1995 (authorized but not mandated)

We invite particular attention to a new section in this Final Report, entitled "Grand Jury Continuity." It contains two more reports:

Review of Responses to 1994-95 Grand Jury Reports
Follow Through to 1994-95 Grand Jury Reports.

This section evolved as the Grand Jury tracked commitments from Affected Agencies in response to previous Grand Juries' recommendations. Many of these commitments extend for more than one year and overlap from one Grand Jury to the next. We developed a new tracking system to improve the continuity process and applied it this year. The results are reported in the Continuity Section.

Another innovation was the placement of last year's Grand Jury reports and responses on the World Wide Web. As we released this year's reports, they were added to the Grand Jury web page located at http://www.sbcgj.org/. Santa Barbara County is one of the first counties in the United States to provide this access.

The Grand Jury extended communications to the public through the cooperation of the news media, the distribution of the newly-created brochure describing the Grand Jury functions, and a series of appearances at civic groups and schools in North and South County areas.

With the publication of this Final Report, the term of the 1995-96 Grand Jury is completed. We express thanks to those across the county who helped in our efforts. In particular, we acknowledge the thoughtful oversight provided by Presiding Judges Rodney S. Melville (July-December 1995) and William L. Gordon (January-June 1996).

We also recognize the valuable support of Superior Court Executive Officer Gary Blair and his staff, and the cooperation of county and city officials, employees and citizens who participated with us in a constructive effort to improve the quality of governance within Santa Barbara County.

It has been a privilege for us to serve as a dedicated and committed group within the judicial branch of county government. We extend best wishes to the members of the incoming 1996-97 Grand Jury as they begin their challenging and rewarding experience.

Sincerely,

Spencer Boise, Foreman
1995-96 Grand Jury


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