|Submitted||March 19, 2020|
MuckRock users can file, duplicate, track, and share public records requests like this one. Learn more.
To Whom It May Concern:
Pursuant to the Maryland Public Information Act we hereby request the following records:
Any contingency plans made by your office for the potential outbreak of covid-19, coronavirus, screening and management of cases, or plans for “social distancing” for any detention facility, jail, or similar. Please be aware that our office is also requesting similar records for any guidance your office might have provided the been provided by the Department of Health and Human Services, Bureau of Prisons or similar agency on the local level.
Documents sufficient to show the amount of testing done by the jail for coronavirus.
Any internal or external discussion about modification to your 287(g) agreement due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.
Any contingency plans made by your office that might include the following keywords, “social distancing,” “quarantine,” “self-isolation,” “self-observation,” and “social distancing”
Communications between your office between your facility and other health authorities about covid-19 or the coronavirus.
Any protocols, procedures or similar that your office might have for contagious diseases, pandemic planning, viral outbreaks or similar.
Documents sufficient to show any number of testing provided to inmates.
The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes. These records are being requested to inform the public about an urgent public health emergency and we request you expedite the processing of this request.
In the event that there are fees, we would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. We 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. We look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 days. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions about the scope of this request
Open The Government
I have been asked to respond to your March 19 Maryland Public Information Act request sent to Melissa Hoffman in the Frederick County Sheriff's Office.
The records from the Detention Center related to the coronavirus COVID-19 threat are attached. Please note that one of the records has been redacted pursuant to Section 4-352(a)(1) of the Maryland Public Information Act, found in the General Provisions Article of the Maryland Code, which allows the denial of inspection of response procedures or plans prepared to prevent or respond to emergency situations, the disclosure of which would reveal vulnerability assessments, specific tactics, specific emergency procedures or specific security procedures. Section 4-352(a)(3)(i) further allows the Detention Center to withhold the portions of records that are prepared to prevent or respond to emergency situations. Under Section 4-352(b), these provisions apply when the custodian of the records determines that release of the records would jeopardize the security of the facility or endanger the life or physical safety of an individual. That is the case here. For that reason, release of the redacted portions of the attached records would not be in the public interest.
Section 4-362 allows you to seek judicial review of the decision to redact the one record. You may also refer any concerns about this decision to the Public Access Ombudsman pursuant to Section 4-1B-01 et seq. of the MPIA.
I have also been advised that there have not been any tests of inmates at the Detention Center, as there has been no one with the symptoms of the virus. Further, there are no additional records of communications with health authorities, although there have been telephone conversations or weekly meetings.
There have not been any modifications to the 287(g) agreement.
Linda B. Thall
Senior Assistant County Attorney
Office of the County Attorney
12 East Church Street
Frederick, Maryland 21701