A copy of the Lassen County 2017-2018 Grand Jury Report is included as a special insert in today’s issue of the Lassen County Times and Westwood PinePress.
The Lassen County Grand Jury is a civil grand jury that oversees all aspects of the legislative and administrative departments that make up county, city and special district governments. A civil grand jury — impaneled by the county’s presiding judge and comprised of 19 local citizens — is required in all 58 counties in the state of California.
After completing its investigations, the grand jury recommends changes to increase efficiency and improve services to the general public. At least 12 members vote on the information included in the final grand jury report.
The grand jury may also require a response from the governmental entities, and responses must be returned within 60 or 90 days. Entities may agree or disagree with the recommendations, but according to California Penal Code Section 933.05, there are only four acceptable responses — the recommendation has been implemented, the recommendation has not been implemented, but will be in the future, the recommendation required further analysis and the recommendation has not been implemented because it is unwarranted or unreasonable.
This year’s grand jury investigated Lassen County Child and Family Services, the Honey Lake Valley Recreation Authority, the Lassen County Veterans Service Office, the city of Susanville’s employment practices, detention facilities in the county (including the Intermountain Conservation Camp, the California Correctional Center, High Desert State Prison, the Lassen County Adult Detention Facility, the Lassen County Juvenile Detention Facility and the Federal Correctional Center at Herlong).
This year’s grand jury received six complaints from citizens, and all letters and complaints were presented to the entire grand jury and given careful consideration. All communications with the grand jury remain confidential.
The grand jury responded to a citizen’s complaint regarding Lassen County Child and Family Services and made five findings and five recommendations. A response is required.
On its own authority, the grand jury reviewed the Honey Lake Valley Recreation Authority — created by the city and the county to build and operate a public swimming pool in Susanville. The grand jury’s investigation was designed to examine the authority’s ability to operate the pool after funding from the city and the county expires. The grand jury made seven findings and made seven recommendations. It also offered a commendation to the Lassen County Supervisors and the Susanville City Council for working together to create the pool. A response is required.
On its own authority, the grand jury reviewed the Lassen County Veterans Service Office. It made a finding and a recommendation, but no response is required.
The grand jury reviewed the county’s correctional facilities, and an appendix to the report includes responses to last year’s report.
We encourage our readers to spend some time with the grand jury report to learn local citizens’ unique and independent view of the public’s business.