COVID vaccine plans for Bristol County Jail and House of Correction

Daniel Gross filed this request with the Bristol County Sheriff's Office of Bristol County, MA.

It is a clone of this request.

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From: Daniel Gross


To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Massachusetts Public Records Law, I hereby request the following records:

I am seeking copies of any and all COVID-19 vaccine plans for the staff, general population, and ICE detainees at Bristol County Jail and House of Correction (also referred to as the Bristol County Detention Center).

I am also seeking copies of all correspondence between the Bristol County Sheriff's Office and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) regarding any coronavirus vaccine plans at the facility.

I am submitting this request in my capacity as a full-time journalist at Insider, Inc. in New York City. This request is being submitted in the course of news gathering.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as we believe this request is in the public interest, as suggested but not stipulated by the recommendations of the Massachusetts Supervisor of Public Records. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

I expect the request to be filled in an accessible format, including for screen readers, which provide text-to-speech for persons unable to read print. Files that are not accessible to screen readers include, for example, .pdf image files as well as physical documents.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Daniel Gross

From: Bristol County Sheriff's Office

Daniel,

The Bristol County Sheriff's Office is in receipt of your request for public records, requesting:

copies of any and all COVID-19 vaccine plans for the staff, general population, and ICE detainees at Bristol County Jail and House of Correction (also referred to as the Bristol County Detention Center).

copies of all correspondence between the Bristol County Sheriff's Office and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) regarding any coronavirus vaccine plans at the facility.
Your request is under review and we will provide a further response regarding its status when complete.

Due to the evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and corresponding State of Emergency in Massachusetts there may be some delays in responding to public records requests. We will do our best to respond to your request within a reasonable timeframe given these extraordinary circumstances. Thank you for your patience.

Gregory J. O'Neill
Law Clerk

Bristol County Sheriff's Office
400 Faunce Corner Road
Dartmouth, Ma 02747
508-995-6400
gregoryoneill@bcso-ma.org

From: Bristol County Sheriff's Office

Daniel,

The BCSO is working on compiling records for review of responsiveness and eligibility for public release.

Your request, specifically "copies of all correspondence between the Bristol County Sheriff's Office and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) regarding any coronavirus vaccine plans at the facility" gave no timeline or search parameters. An initial search of all emails, with general descriptors ("vaccine", "corona", or "covid") resulted in more than 40,000 returns. Your request (without a timeframe or terms) is quite extensive and would be prohibitively burdensome to review. I would ask you to provide a timeframe and search terms to narrow the scope.

Proactively, I ran a second search with the following parameters: (timeline: last 6 months; domain of sender or recipient = @ice.dhs.gov; and search terms "vaccine", "corona", or "covid"), resulting in 810 potentially responsive results - which is still substantial.

Please be advised that pursuant to Public Records Access Regulations, 950 CMR 32.00 et seq., a public entity may charge a requesting party the following fees:

"(2) Document search time (i.e., the time necessary to search for and copy responsive records) or segregation time (i.e., the time necessary to delete or redact protected information from records otherwise subject to disclosure); such fee to be determined at the pro-rated hourly rate of the lowest paid employee capable of performing the search, but not more than $25 per hour. Municipal RAOs may seek permission of the Supervisor of Records to charge a higher rate." The first 4 hours of work required to comply with the request will not be assessed a fee.

As each email will need to be read to determine if it is responsive to your request and, if so, whether it is exempt from disclosure or requires redaction; the number of emails subject to your request will impact the cost of processing your request.

Subject to my modifications (timeframe & search terms, resulting in 810 emails) and based on prior public requests that resulted in a substantial review, a preliminary estimate of the fee is the sum of One-Hundred and Two Dollars and Fifty Cents ($102.50).

This estimate is calculated based on an estimate that the review will take 8.1 hours (reviewing 100 emails per hour) at $25 per hour and subtracting the first 4 hours (no fee may be 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; or you may be assessed an additional amount if it exceeds the estimate. If you would like to proceed with my recommended search parameters, please forward payment to my attention in the Legal Department at the Bristol County Sheriff's Office, 400 Faunce Corner
Road, North Dartmouth, MA 02747. Please make payable to the Bristol County Sheriff's Office. Payment by bank check or money order (personal checks will not be accepted) is required prior to commencing the review of the documents.

Please let me know how you would like to proceed.

Greg

From: Daniel Gross

Hi Greg,

Thank you very much for conducting this research and sharing your update. I am happy to narrow the request to make the search more manageable. If we narrow the time frame to the last 3 months, would that adequately reduce the number of records so that they can be processed in approximately 4 hours?

(timeline: last 3 months; domain of sender or recipient = @ice.dhs.gov; and search terms "vaccine," "corona," and "covid")

If applicable, I would also request a fee waiver as a member of the news media who is reporting on the pandemic, a topic that affects public health and is thus in the public interest.

Thank you,
Daniel Gross

Daniel

From: Bristol County Sheriff's Office

Daniel,
Searches were run with a starting date of 12-01-2020 through today.
Results are: 485 emails in total.

It is estimated that this will take approximately 5 hours to review at a cost of $25.

Pursuant to Public Records Access Regulations, 950 CMR 32.00 et seq., a public entity may charge a requesting party the following fees:

"(2) Document search time (i.e., the time necessary to search for and copy responsive records) or segregation time (i.e., the time necessary to delete or redact protected information from records otherwise subject to disclosure); such fee to be determined at the pro-rated hourly rate of the lowest paid employee capable of performing the search, but not more than $25 per hour. Municipal RAOs may seek permission of the Supervisor of Records to charge a higher rate." The first 4 hours of work required to comply with the request will not be assessed a fee.

As each email will need to be read to determine if it is responsive to your request and, if so, whether it is exempt from disclosure or requires redaction; the number of emails subject to your request will impact the cost of processing your request.

Subject to any modifications (timeframe & search terms) and based on prior public requests that resulted in lengthy reviews, a preliminary estimate of the fee is the sum of Twenty-Five Dollars ($25). This estimate is calculated based on an estimate that the review will take approximately 5 hours at $25 per hour and subtracting the first 4 hours. If the final fee varies from the estimate at the conclusion of the request, you will be entitled to a refund, or you may be assessed an additional amount if it exceeds the estimate.

If you would like to proceed with this review of the current search parameters, please forward payment to my attention in the Legal Department at the Bristol County Sheriff's Office, 400 Faunce Corner
Road, North Dartmouth, MA 02747. Please make payable to the Bristol County Sheriff's Office. Payment by bank check or money order (personal checks will not be accepted) is required prior to commencing the review of the documents.

Thank You.
Greg

From: Daniel Gross

Hi Greg,

Thank you for this update. I am working on sending payment for this request. I will update you when I know more.

Best,
Daniel

From: Bristol County Sheriff's Office

A fix is required to perfect the request.

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