Mortality Data and Related Policies, 2000-2020

COVID Prison Project filed this request with the Department of Corrections of Kentucky.
Tracking #

ORR 21-085

Due May 25, 2021
Est. Completion July 2, 2021
Awaiting Response


From: COVID Prison Project

Lisa Lamb
Communications Director
Kentucky Department of Corrections
275 E Main St.
Frankfort, KY 40601

To Lisa Lamb:

Pursuant to the Kentucky Open Records Act, § 61.872 et seq., I write to request access to and a copy of the following public records:

– Those which include time and date of all instances of death occurring in the offender population between January 2000 and December 2020.

– Those which indicate the total number of individuals in Kentucky Department of Corrections (KDOC) custody who died by any cause, separated monthly, from January 2000 to December 2020.

– Monthly population records that include the total number of deaths occurring among people in the custody of the KDOC between January 2000 and December 2020.

– Certificates of death for all individuals in KDOC custody who died between January 2000 and December 2020.

Additionally, I am requesting an opportunity to inspect or obtain copies of any and all KDOC policies, regulations, and procedures, pertaining to...

– Investigations of in-custody deaths.

– Requirements for the performance of an autopsy or post-mortem medical examination of individuals who die while in KDOC custody.

– The reporting of in-custody deaths to other governmental agencies.

– Next-of-kin notification in the event of in-custody deaths.

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. However, we respectfully request a waiver of these fees as we are affiliated with an educational or noncommercial scientific institution, and this request is made for a scholarly or scientific purpose and not for a commercial use.

The Kentucky Open Records Act requires a response time within three business days. If access to the records I am requesting will take longer than that time period, please contact me with information about when I might expect copies or the ability to inspect the requested records. If you choose to deny this request, please provide a written explanation for the denial including a reference to the specific statutory exemption(s) upon which you rely. Also, please provide all segregable portions of otherwise exempt material.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated assistance in this matter.


Forrest Behne
Policy Director, COVID Prison Project
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Office: (919) 391-7962
340 MacNider Hall | Campus Box 7240
333 South Columbia Street
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7240

From: Department of Corrections

Senate Bill 150, which was signed into law on March 30, 2020, extended the deadline for responding to open records requests from three to 10 days during the state of emergency as declared by Executive Order 2020-215. Specifically, Senate Bill 150 Section 1(8)(a) reads as follows:

Notwithstanding KRS 61.872 and 61.880, a public agency shall respond to the request to inspect or receive copies of public records within 10 days of its receipt. A public agency may delay on-site inspection during the pendency of the state of emergency.

A response will be provided to you on June 1, 2021.

From: Department of Corrections

Please see the attached response to your open records request, ORR 21-085.


Katherine Williams
Public Information Officer
Open Records Coordinator
Kentucky Department of Corrections
P.O. Box 2400 | Frankfort, KY 40602<>