Grievances re: GEO's Florida Facilities

Beryl Lipton filed this request with the Department of Corrections of Florida.
Tracking # PRR 14-288
Est. Completion None
Status
Fix Required

Communications

From: Beryl Lipton

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to Florida's Sunshine Law (Fla. Stat. secs. 119.01 to 119.15 (1995)), I hereby request the following records:

All complaints and formal/informal grievances referencing the following terms (in whole or part) or originating from the following locations:

• Bay Correctional Facility
• Citrus County Detention Facility
• Graceville Correctional Facility
• Lake City Correctional Facility
• Moore Haven Correctional Facility

Please redact personally identifying information as necessary.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest. 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.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, 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 would request your response within ten (10) business days.

Sincerely,

Beryl C.D. Lipton

From: Beard, Donna

Dear Mr. Lipton:

With regard to your public records request below, logged as PRR 14-288, please note the following:

1. Bay Correctional Facility - contractor is NOT CCA
2. Citrus County Detention Facility - NOT a state/Department of Corrections facility/institution
3. Graceville Correctional Facility - contractor is NOT CCA
4. Lake City Correctional Facility - Lake City Youthful Offender Facility - contractor IS CCA
5. Moore Haven Correctional Facility - contractor is NOT CCA

Please be advised that the Department does not maintain records (grievances) in the manner you have requested. In order to provide you with a cost estimate for copies of grievances, we would need the date range for the grievances at each facility/institution you are interested in as grievances are logged by year and inmate name and maintained within the grieving inmate's classification file. When you have provided the year(s) of grievances for each facility/institution, you will receive cost estimates from each facility/institution for production of the responsive grievance logs and once payment has been received, production of the logs will proceed in accordance with s. 945.10 and Ch. 119, Fla. Stat. Once you have received the grievance logs you can request the grievances you wish to obtain. You will then be provided with cost estimates from each facility/institution for production of the grievances. Production costs are in accordance with Ch. 119, Fla. Stat., and include a special service charge for the time to pull each classification file of the corresponding grieving inmate (requested from the log), including tracking any transferred or released inmate classification files, copying the records, reviewing the records for confidential/exempt information and redacting such information in accordance with statutes, as well as copy charges. Once payment is received, the aforementioned process of producing the records will proceed.

Additionally, please clarify the records you refer to as "complaints".

The Department does not waive fees for media requests and records are produced in the format they are maintained in.

Please provide the requested clarification for the processing of your request to proceed.

Thank you,

Donna Beard
Department of Corrections
Office of the General Counsel
501 South Calhoun Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2500
(850) 717-3625

Our Vision: "Changing Lives to Ensure a Safer Florida"

From: Beryl Lipton

Hello Ms. Beard,

I'm interested in all grievances, formal and informal, submitted from January 1, 2010 through December 31, 2014, as described in the procedure for the submission of inmate grievances (https://www.flrules.org/gateway/ChapterHome.asp?Chapter=33-103). The log should include those that were submitted via the locked grievance box, regardless of eventual action taken on the complaint.

Please let me know if I can further clarify.

Thank you!
Beryl

From: Beard, Donna

Yes sir, are you requesting the grievance logs from all 50+ DC institutions/facilities or the facilities listed within the original request (below). Please recall that Citrus County Detention Center is not under the Department’s jurisdiction.

Thank you,

Donna Beard
Department of Corrections
Office of the General Counsel
501 South Calhoun Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2500
(850) 717-3625

Our Vision: "Changing Lives to Ensure a Safer Florida"

From: Beard, Donna

Dear Ms. Lipton:

In follow up to our conversation this morning, your request for the grievance logs (for both formal and informal grievances from January 1, 2010 through December 31, 2014) will be forwarded to Bay, Graceville, Lake City, and Moore Haven Correctional Facilities for processing.

If records responsive to your request are determined to exist, you may receive a cost estimate (DC1-201) and upon receipt of payment, non-confidential and non-exempt records will be produced or made available for inspection in accordance with Ch. 119 and s. 945.10, Florida Statutes.

Sincerely,

Donna Beard
Department of Corrections
Office of the General Counsel
501 South Calhoun Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2500
(850) 717-3625

Our Vision: "Changing Lives to Ensure a Safer Florida"

From: Beryl Lipton

Hello Ms. Beard,

Thank you so much for all of your help. With whom should I follow up regarding the grievance logs? Is there a state/Department of Corrections representative that I may contact at the facilities for status updates?

Best,
Beryl

From: Beard, Donna

Ms. Lipton:

I sent the request to the wardens and copied Mr. Weber. (please see attached).

Sincerely,
Donna Beard
Department of Corrections
Office of the General Counsel
501 South Calhoun Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2500
(850) 717-3625

Our Vision: "Changing Lives to Ensure a Safer Florida"

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Sept. 22, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #PRR 14-288.

Thank you for your help.

From: Beard, Donna

Ms. Lipton:

I have been contacted by GEO’s Office of General Counsel and they advised GEO would be handling the requests pertaining to Bay, Graceville, and Moore Haven. I believe Lake City is under contract with CCA, who I have not heard from. Mr. Weber is the Chief of Private Prison Monitoring at DMS. The link below will provide you with the contact information for each facility your request was forwarded to, enabling you to follow up with the field custodians.

http://www.dms.myflorida.com/business_operations/private_prison_monitoring

Sincerely,

Donna Beard
Department of Corrections
Office of the General Counsel
501 South Calhoun Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2500
(850) 717-3625

Our Vision: "Changing Lives to Ensure a Safer Florida"

From: Shannon Weller

Ms. Lipton,

Please see the attached letter in response to your records request dated
September 22, 2014.

Thank you.

*Shannon Weller *PARALEGAL

*The GEO Group, Inc.* ®
One Park Place, Suite 700, 621 NW 53rd St
Boca Raton, Florida 33487

Tel: *561 999 8121* Fax *561 999 7642*
sweller@geogroup.com <hwheeler@geogroup.com>
www.geogroup.com

This e-mail, and any files transmitted with it, is confidential and is
intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to which it is
addressed. If you are not the intended recipient or the person responsible
for delivering the e-mail to the intended recipient, be advised that you
have received this e-mail in error and that any use, dissemination,
forwarding, printing or copying of this e-mail is strictly prohibited. If
you have received this e-mail in error, please immediately notify by
replying to this e-mail.

From: Shannon Weller

Ms. Lipton,

Please see the attached letter in response to your records request dated
September 22, 2014.

Thank you.

*Shannon Weller *PARALEGAL

*The GEO Group, Inc.* ®
One Park Place, Suite 700, 621 NW 53rd St
Boca Raton, Florida 33487

Tel: *561 999 8121* Fax *561 999 7642*
sweller@geogroup.com <hwheeler@geogroup.com>
www.geogroup.com

This e-mail, and any files transmitted with it, is confidential and is
intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to which it is
addressed. If you are not the intended recipient or the person responsible
for delivering the e-mail to the intended recipient, be advised that you
have received this e-mail in error and that any use, dissemination,
forwarding, printing or copying of this e-mail is strictly prohibited. If
you have received this e-mail in error, please immediately notify by
replying to this e-mail.

From: Beryl Lipton

Hello Ms. Weller,

Thank you very much for your message! A check will be placed in the mail in the next few days. Your help on this request is very much appreciated.

Have a lovely weekend!
Beryl

From: Beryl Lipton

Hello Ms. Beard,

Upon consideration of the circumstances of this request, I would feel it more appropriate to deal with the Florida Department of Corrections for matters related to public records. What are the mechanisms by which I can obtain these materials (in this situation, the grievance logs) from your office?

Thank you!
Beryl

From: Beryl Lipton

Hello Ms. Weller,

I just wanted to let you know that I will be waiting to send the check based upon a pending response from the Florida Department of Corrections. I am still very much interested in the grievances/grievance logs ((2010 - present) associated with the following facilities:

• Bay Correctional Facility
• Blackwater Correctional Facility
• Graceville Correctional Facility
• Moore Haven Correctional Facility
• South Bay Correctional Facility

Thank you! Have a wonderful weekend!

Beryl

From: Beard, Donna

Ms. Lipton,

GEO is the contractor for the Department of Corrections and as such is tasked with responding to public records requests on behalf of the Department. GEO runs the facility and GEO expends their resources to produce the records for which their facilities are responsible.

Sincerely,

Donna Beard
Department of Corrections
Office of the General Counsel
501 South Calhoun Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2500
(850) 717-3625

Our Vision: "Changing Lives to Ensure a Safer Florida"

From: Beryl Lipton

Hello Ms. Beard,

Thank you very much for your note. I apologize for the confusion and need to clarify my understanding of the situation. Is it appropriate to assume that the grievance logs aren't otherwise provided to the Department of Corrections and instead are maintained and grievances handled internally by the facilities?

As always, your help with my ongoing requests is greatly appreciated.

Best wishes,
Beryl

From: Beard, Donna

That is correct. The only DC staff at private facilities are classification and they are not the grievance coordinator.

From: Beryl Lipton

Hello Ms. Beard,

Thank you for your response and apologies for any inconvenience my persistent questioning may cause. I'm curious about how these grievances are transmitted to the Department of Corrections and the contract monitor. Should I direct my confusion elsewhere?

As always, I appreciate your help and patience.

Best wishes,
Beryl

From: Beard, Donna

Dear Ms. Lipton,

Public records law provides a right to access public records, it does not require that an agency answer questions or give out information from records, create new records or conduct research. If you can formulate your question/curiosity into a records request, we will be happy to search within the Department of Corrections for responsive records and provide a response based on what we find.

Sincerely,

Donna Beard
Department of Corrections
Office of the General Counsel
501 South Calhoun Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2500
(850) 717-3625

Our Vision: "Changing Lives to Ensure a Safer Florida"

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