18-20 year olds in Massachusetts County Houses of Correction (Barnstable County Sheriff's Office)

Joshua Dankoff filed this request with the Barnstable County Sheriff's Office of Barnstable County, MA.
Multi Request 18-20 year olds in Massachusetts County Houses of Correction
Est. Completion None
Payment Required


From: Joshua Dankoff

Dear County Sheriff's Office,

This is a request under the Massachusetts Public Records Law (M. G. L. Chapter 66, Section 10), for documents in your Department’s possession regarding 18-, 19-, and 20-year-olds in your custody. I am writing on behalf of Citizens for Juvenile Justice (CfJJ), a nonprofit organization advocating for equitable youth justice in Massachusetts.

With respect to the form of production, we note that relevant regulations require the production of records in an accessible, commonly used electronic form, to the extent feasible. See 950 CMR 32.04(5)(d). Record custodians are also required to implement new record keeping systems and databases in such a way as to allow for “retrieval of public portions of records to provide maximum public access.” See 950 CMR 32.07(1)(e). Extraction of such data from a database or electronic record system does not constitute creating a new record. See 950 CMR 32.07(1)(f). Printing these records from a database or electronic system, redacting them with a marker, and then re-scanning them, is generally not consistent with these regulations; this process provides the digital records neither in the preferred form nor in a “searchable machine-readable form.” 950 CMR 32.04(5)(d). If necessary, we welcome reasonable suggested modifications pursuant to 950 CMR 32.06(2)(g). Per Attorney Gen. v. Dist. Attorney for Plymouth Dist., 484 Mass. 260, 141 N.E.3d 429 (2020), compiling information from a database is not tantamount to creating a new record that would otherwise be precluded under public records law. Specifically: “Where public records are in electronic form, a public records request that requires a government entity to search its electronic database to extract requested data does not mean that the extracted data constitute the creation of a new record, which would not be required, under the public records law. " Id. at 442 to 443. Thus, we request that your department query its database and provide a response to the records request below.

1. A list of every field or type of data tracked in your electronic database (e.g. “Race”, “Date of Birth”, “date of admission”, etc.)

2. We request an extracted record in excel or other computer readable format of your data management system/case management system with line level data for the following fields for all people in your physical custody at some point in fiscal years 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 and who entered your custody between the ages of 18 years old and 20 years old and 364 days (ie prior to their 21st birthday) either pre-trial or sentenced:
- Date of admission
- Reason of admission (pre-trial, serving sentence, etc)
- Lead charge/most serious offense or its equivalent
- Date of Birth (or, if this is deemed to be information subject to an exemption, then please include month and year of birth (though not day))
- Date of release
- Length of stay
- Length of sentence (if applicable)
- Race
- Ethnicity
- Gender/sex
- Zipcode of home/last residence
- Sexual Orientation / Gender Identity
- Date(s) of disciplinary action taken, if any
- Type of disciplinary action taken, if any
- Days spent (or dates of admission to and release from) in Restrictive Housing, segregated housing unit or any other unit where an incarcerated individual stays in their room for a minimum of 21 hours.
- Whether the individual is/was housed in a specialized unit (such as the PEACE unit in Suffolk or PACT in Middlesex) as applicable.

3. Average annual cost of HOC incarceration for an 18-, 19-, and 20-year-old, separated by the costs of pre-trial detention and sentenced. If there are special units associated with this age group, please break down costs for general population and the special units.

4. Cost of one day in restrictive housing or when individuals are held for 21 hours or more.

Thank you for considering our request. We look forward to hearing back from you and working with you. We are available to answer any questions regarding this data request or our work. We can be reached by email through the address provided, or by phone at 617.338.1050.


Joshua Dankoff
Director of Strategic Initiatives
Citizens for Juvenile Justice

Sana Fadel
Deputy Director
Citizens for Juvenile Justice

From: Barnstable County Sheriff's Office

We are in receipt of your attached public records request.

With regard to requests numbered 3 and 4, the most recent calculation available is $71,989 for FY 20. The average annual cost of incarceration is same for any inmate of any age, whether sentenced or pre-trial, and regardless of whether housed in general population or a special unit.

With regard to requests numbered 1 and 2, it is my understanding from our IT Department they would need to build a crystal report to begin to extract the data you are requesting. This work is anticipated to take approximately twenty (20) hours. The preliminary fee for this request is approximately four hundred dollars ($400.00) calculated by the time estimate for the lowest paid person that is qualified to comply with the request: sixteen (16) hours at $25 per hour. A fee has not been assessed on the first 4 hours of work required to comply with the request.

If the final fee varies from the estimate at the conclusion of the request, you will be entitled to a refund. If it is more than the estimate, you may be assessed an additional amount. Please forward initial payment to my attention payable to the Barnstable County Sheriff's Office, 6000 Sheriff's Place, Bourne, MA 02532

The Barnstable County Sheriff's Office reserves all rights to assert privileges or exemptions, as applicable.

You have the right to appeal this determination to the Supervisor of Public Records, pursuant to 950 C.M.R. 32.00 and M.G.L. c. 66 §10A (a) and to seek judicial review pursuant to M.G.L. c. 66 §10A(c).

Donna Buckley, Esq.
General Counsel
Barnstable County Sheriff's Office
6000 Sheriff's Place
Bourne, MA 02532
508-563-4311 (o)
617-448-6278 (c)