Fugazi gets her answers

Questions and Answers: Council member Christina Fugazi

Recently,  Council member Christina Fugazi objected when discussion of a motion regarding the Advance Peace anti-gun-violence program was cut off before she could ask a raft of questions.

Fugazi e-mailed her questions to Advance Peace head DeVone Boggan. Below is her letter and Boggan’s answers. I am reproducing both so we all can better understand Advance Peace.

 

On Sat, Jan 13, 2018 at 8:47 PM, Christina Fugazi <Christina.Fugazi@stocktonca.gov> wrote:

Dear Mr. Boggan,

Thank you for attempting to answer one of my questions.  I seriously thought you were going to do a powerpoint presentation or some type of formal presentation and most of my questions would have been answered at that time.  I apologize for putting you on the spot and please understand that I want the best for my city and its residents.  With so many speakers (38), there was so much misinformation amongst supporter and opponents to your program.  Please help me by answering the questions that apply to your program as it works in Stockton.  There are a lot of them, but that is my profession, asking questions.  My constituents are hoping that I am able to provide them with the answers, since they provided some of the questions in my list.

 

Thank you and enjoy the rest of your weekend,

Christina

Councilwoman Christina Fugazi

District 5

City of Stockton

(209) 937-8244

 

 

From: DeVone Boggan <devone@advancepeace.org>
Date: January 17, 2018 at 1:31:10 PM PST
To: Christina Fugazi <Christina.Fugazi@stocktonca.gov>
Subject: Re: Questions for Stockton’s Advance Peace Program

Council Member Fugazi,

I hope that this finds you well!  Please find my answers to your questions directed to Advance Peace:

1.  Does (City Manager) Kurt Wilson and the city manager’s office support this program? 

N/A to Advance Peace

2. Is the Chief & OVP in support of this program? 

N/A to Advance Peace

3. What are your (CM, SPD, OVP) concerns?  If you are neutral, why?

N/A to Advance Peace

4. Where does the program get the names of potential fellows?  SPD?  OVP?

Potential Fellows can be identified by a variety of sources including but not limited to, deployed Advance Peace street outreach/case management staff (Neighborhood Change Agents), community members, law enforcement, Ceasefire and the Office of Violence Prevention.

5. Doesn’t OVP already provide 6/7 of these services?  If so, are we eliminating this office and our Peacekeepers?  Will Advance Peace be responsible for them then?

N/A to Advance Peace

6.) Who is going to oversee the program?  Monitors its progress?

Advance Peace hires local residents to serve in the capacity of Local Program Strategy Manager, and Neighborhood Change Agents.  The Local Strategy Manager overseas the work of the Neighborhood Change Agents, the Local Strategy Manager reports directly to the CEO of Advance Peace.  The CEO, the Advance Peace Evaluation Team (National Council on Crime and Delinquency and the Institute of Urban and Regional Development at UC Berkeley) with the local team will monitor local strategy progress.

7. Where will this program be housed and managed from? 

Advance Peace is recognized as a exempt 501 (c) (3) organization.  Advance Peace will identify appropriate rental and/or shared space opportunities in Stockton California from which the work will be facilitated.

8. How many employees? 

Advance Peace will employee 3-5 employees in Stockton California.  A mix of full-time and part- time staff. All residents of Stockton.

9.) Will people from Richmond be coming here or will people from Stockton will be hired?  What kind of qualifications?  Are there any requirements for a city to get this program?

Residents from Stockton will be hired for all positions associated with the Advance Peace strategy in Stockton.  Job Descriptions will be made available for Stockton in the near future once recruitment begins (you may review the Job Descriptions for the Sacramento CA. positions attached).  The requirements for cities to participate as replication sites for the Advance Peace strategy are as follows: A formal 2-4 year commitment to implement a minimum of 1-2, 18-month Fellowship cohorts with a minimum of 50 Fellows; Committed programmatic funding of $250,000 per year over 2-4 years; commitment to provide gun violence data and work with Advance Peace national evaluation team; city ability to demonstrate public/private partnerships that promotes and invests in healthy and positive youth and young adult development; a commitment from one institutional philanthropic partner/donor (minimum); buy-in from at least one of the following: City Manager, Mayor, Chief of Police, Elected Prosecutor, local Elected Officials; demonstrated ability to identify and access the individuals targeted for the Fellowship.

10.) Is Richmond keeping this program or renewing it in their next fiscal year?

Yes.  The City of Richmond continues to support and celebrate this work and its impact and contribution on gun violence reduction in its jurisdiction.  This work will be kept in the budget in the next fiscal year. The City of Richmond invests nearly $1M annually in support of this work.

11.) What are the specific qualifications to be selected as a fellow?  Are there any reasons for a fellow to be “exited” from the program?

Advance Peace is a gun violence reduction strategy.  Advance Peace seeks to invite/enroll individuals for its Fellowship that are thought to be the most likely to commit and/or the most likely to become victims of cyclical and retaliatory recurrent gun violence.  Advance Peace focuses intense resources on the small percentage of individuals who shoot in the community, but whom law enforcement is unable to build a case against.

The ways in which a Fellow is exited from the program are as follows: individual decides to withdraw from program, individual is placed in criminal custody/incarceration, individual becomes deceased, or individual graduates the program.  If it is believed that a Fellow is suspected of continuing to engage in gun violence and ONLY if individual remains free from criminal justice custody/incarceration during this belief, Advance Peace will continue to work with the individual in an ongoing effort to change the mindset that gives rise to the lethal behavior – in an effort to reduce any future lethal impact that the individual can have on the community.

12.) Who knows outside of the program who is IN the program?

Advance Peace supports preserving the confidentiality of its Fellows (city residents).  Advance Peace is not a mandated program nor does it receive formal participant referrals from any source.  Participants identified who meet AP criteria are invited, but volunteer themselves to participate in the Fellowship. If a Fellow would like to make his participation in the Fellowship known publicly, the individual may do so at their discretion.

13.) What happens if a “fellow” commits a crime while in the program or after successful completion of the program? 

Advance Peace does not condone criminal activity by any of its Fellows.  If a Fellow commits a crime while in the program and remains free from criminal prosecution or incarceration, Advance Peace will continue to work with the individual in an ongoing effort to change the mindset that gives rise to the lethal behavior – in an effort to reduce any future lethal impact that the individual can have on the community.  After successful completion of the program (Fellow is no longer seen as a threat to public safety), Fellows are typically looking for employment, or are working, or pursuing educational or other positive opportunities.

Some graduating Fellows however have been known to remain involved in other illicit behavior that doesn’t include gun violence.  What all graduating Fellows have in common (no matter what road they take) is that they are no longer using a firearm to solve conflict and they are no longer thought to be involved in gun violence by law enforcement personnel.  Like most healthy people, after a Fellow completes the Fellowship, these individuals are interested in being alive and are equipped with a healthier disposition to “figure life/it out” and to “make the best out of the lives they have” without the use of a firearm.  Again, Advance Peace is a gun violence reduction strategy.  Advance Peace is not a “Jobs” program or a “gang prevention/intervention” program.

14.) Has this program been evaluated by an independent outside expert or these internally gathered reports?  Maybe Dr. Braga from Harvard?  Someone from UC Berkeley that is an expert in crime?

Yes, the program has been independently evaluated: http://www.nccdglobal.org/sites/default/files/publication_pdf/ons-process-evaluation.pdf

For our work in Sacramento and Stockton California, the evaluation team is made up of the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD) led by Dr. Angela Wolf and the Institute of Urban and Regional Development at UC Berkeley, led by Dr. Jason Corburn.

15. Can someone expand on the evidence-based cognitive behavior therapy? 

16. Who is providing this and what are their qualifications for this? 

17. Where was this therapy developed and where is it currently being used by this program outside of Richmond and Sacramento?

15., 16., 17. Advance Peace (AP) works with its Fellows to overcome emotional distress and trauma by teaching skills to enhance self-control and reduce violence.  Advance Peace is trauma-informed and [culturally] responsive to its participants.  AP provides extensive training and development for each staff member in each of the six evidence-based practice areas that the Fellowship is grounded.  Where necessary, Advance Peace utilizes [paid] licensed clinicians with requisite expertise in CBT. Where Advance Peace can identify at the local level existing agency that has extensive experience delivering CBT, AP will assess its ability to do so with our Fellow population, and perhaps work with the local organization(s) if capacity is positively determined.

Where AP cannot identify local resources, AP will bring in its partners who have long demonstrated expertise to assist in the development of such culturally competent and responsive capacity with both local AP staff and interested community organizations.  AP utilizes a variety of evidence based sources and tailors them to the needs of our Fellow population, including Power Source and the TFUAR (Thinking, Feeling, Urges, Actions, and Reactions) CBT approaches.  CBT work with this highly at risk population has been facilitated successfully for more than 10 years in Richmond California.

18.) Is County Social Services a partner or does the program just act as a “handler” taking fellows through the different service agencies?

Advance Peace acts as a surrogate caregiver and assists each Fellow in their navigation of both the public system and community-based social, human, educational, vocational and employment services maze.  Where public system social and/or healthcare services can provide “expedited-access” services opportunities for AP Fellows, this has proven productive and has yielded high impact outcomes.  This is an area that AP will work with the community to build local capacity.

19.) What types of internships are offered?  Is there job training also provided?

Employment counseling and training is provided through-out a Fellows 18-month Fellowship engagement.  Internships vary and are based on each Fellows personal interests and passion.  Fellows are typically placed in internships no sooner than 18-months or after the conclusion of their Fellowship engagement.

20.) Can you provide a list of milestones that fellows need to meet within the 18-month period?

Fellowship milestones are based on each Fellows unique circumstances and person-centered Life Management Action Plan.  Milestones are tied to the following areas and personal proficiency: Healthy Relationships, Anger Management, Conflict Resolution, Positive Parenting, Building Healthy Personal/Professional Networks, Spirituality, Recreation/Health and Wellness, Personal Safety, Transportation, Education, Employment, Safe Housing, Healthcare, and Financial Management.

21.) What is the cost of the program?

The cost of each Fellowship cohort is $750,000/year for 25-40 Fellows.

22.) Who is handling the money from the donors, doing the hiring and firing, collecting the data, etc.? 

Advance Peace.

23.) Speaking of data, when will the council and donors be updated on progress and how, when, and what are the methods for collecting data?

Advance Peace and its evaluation team will provide the Mayor and City Council with a written progress report each quarter after first Fellowship cohort launch (approximately June/July 2018).  Advance Peace agrees to provide Mayor and City Council with an annual progress report presentation at City Council by request.  Each donor has their own schedule independent of one another with regard to reporting requirements and timelines.  The Advance Peace Evaluation Team will sit down with a select group of community stakeholders to determine agreed upon data collection and success benchmarks.

24.) How do we know if it has been successful if we have to rely on their self reporting?

N/A to Advance Peace.

Advance Peace is designed to reduce recurrent, cyclical and retaliatory gun violence. If gun violence that is cyclical and retaliatory in nature has been reduced since implementation of the AP strategy, then we’ve been successful.  The Advance Peace Evaluation Team will sit down with a select group of community stakeholders to determine agreed upon success benchmarks.

25.) What if the program needs more money or the funding runs out before the program completion, is the city on the hook for it or will the donors increase their funding?

Advance Peace and Mayor Michael Tubbs is responsible for raising private contributions for the entire strategy over the period that the Fellowship will be facilitated in Stockton.  The City of Stockton (because of Mayor Tubbs ability to identify and secure private resources) is the only city of the four that will replicate the Advance Peace Fellowship, that will not be contributing resources from its general fund budget, thus the City of Stockton  IS NOT “on the hook” for anything.

26.) Does Mr. Boggan get a salary or collect a fee?

Mr. Boggan serves as Chief Executive Officer and receives an annual salary from Advance Peace as determined by the Advance Peace Board of Directors.

27.) Mr. Luebberke questions –By signing this resolution, could the city be sued by a family who is a victim of a crime due to a “fellow”?  And even if we were able to be victorious in court, would there be a cost to the city to defend the case in court?  And if there were multiple cases, could the cost go into the millions?  Could the Mayor’s Office and individual council members be listed in the suit as well?  Could Advance Peace be sued?

N/A to Advance Peace

I hope that this is helpful.


Best,

-db-

 

DeVone Boggan
President & CEO 
devone@advancepeace.org

ADVANCE PEACE

 

 

 

 

 

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