Massachusetts Civil Commitment (DoC)

HIJ Action Lab filed this request with the Department of Correction of Massachusetts.
Est. Completion None
Status
Partially Completed

Communications

From: HIJ Action Lab

To Whom It May Concern:

The Health in Justice Action Lab at Northeastern University is interested in Massachusetts’s involuntary commitment programs under ALM GL ch. 123, § 35. Specifically, we are looking for data concerning individuals civilly committed for substance use and addiction treatment, the programmatic offerings for those individuals, and Massachusetts’s response to COVID-19 in its civil commitment system.

In order to permit the public to understand how the state of Massachusetts is administering involuntary commitment, the outcomes of that program, and the impact on Massachusetts’s public health, the Health in Justice Action Lab is making this request pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 66 § 10 for the following records:

1. State-wide volume. Any record showing the number of people who were civilly committed for substance use and addiction in each year since 2015 to the latest available.

2. Demographic information. Any and all records reflecting de-identified demographic summary statistics, including (but not necessarily limited to) race, gender, age, and pregnancy status, pertaining to individuals who have been civilly committed for substance use and addiction, from 2015 to latest available.

3. Facility information. Summary statistics, reports, or relevant documentation detailing facilities that are used to house people civilly commitment for substance use and addiction, including the following information:
a. Summary of the number of individuals committed to each individual facility for substance use in each year since 2015, to latest available.
b. For each facility housing people civilly committed for substance use, summary of the number of individuals also being held on criminal charges in those same facilities
c. Which facilities employ or contract health care providers licensed to prescribe methadone and/or buprenorphine.
d. Number of individuals each facility is licensed to house.
e. State agency managing each facility housing people civilly committed for substance use disorder.
f. Any and all documentation noting the number of non-fatal and fatal overdose incidents within each facility housing people civilly committed for substance use disorder in each year since 2015.

4. Financial information. Summary statistics, reports, or relevant documentation regarding government resources or insurance funds that are used to pay for civil commitment for substance use/addiction in each year since 2015.

5. Re-entry planning. Any and all documentation regarding the re-entry planning process for people discharged from civil commitment for substance use disorder, including:
a. Overdose education and naloxone distribution
b. Linkage to treatment in the community
c. Linkage to housing in the community
d. Insurance assistance
e. Any other support or health services

6. External overdose data. Any and all documentation noting the number of overdose incidents of patients within 1 year of re-entry from civil commitment for substance use disorder/addiction in each year since 2015.

7. Mobile Pickups. Any and all documentation noting the number of patients who were arrested pursuant to a warrant and order for civil commitment in each year since 2015.

Because this request involves a matter of public concern and because it is made on behalf of a nonprofit organization, we ask that you waive any fees. If you decide not to waive fees, we request that you permit us to examine, at our election, the responsive documents before deciding which portions to transmit. We prefer the documents in electronic format.

Should you determine that some portion of the documents requested are exempt from disclosure, please release any reasonably segregable portions that are not exempt. In addition, please note the applicable statutory exemption and explain why it applies to the redacted portions. As you know, a custodian of public records shall comply with a request within 10 business days, as the statute requires after receipt.

Thank you for your assistance. We look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Louis Miyara
Health in Justice Action Lab
Northeastern University

From: HIJ Action Lab

To Whom It May Concern:

I am following up on the Health in Justice Action Lab's request for information regarding Massachusetts’s involuntary commitment programs under ALM GL ch. 123, § 35.

Specifically, we are looking for data concerning individuals civilly committed for substance use and addiction treatment, the programmatic offerings for those individuals, and Massachusetts’s response to COVID-19 in its civil commitment system.

In order to permit the public to understand how the state of Massachusetts is administering involuntary commitment, the outcomes of that program, and the impact on Massachusetts’s public health, the Health in Justice Action Lab is making this request pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 66 § 10 for the following records:

1. State-wide volume. Any record showing the number of people who were civilly committed for substance use and addiction in each year since 2015 to the latest available.

2. Demographic information. Any and all records reflecting de-identified demographic summary statistics, including (but not necessarily limited to) race, gender, age, and pregnancy status, pertaining to individuals who have been civilly committed for substance use and addiction, from 2015 to latest available.

3. Facility information. Summary statistics, reports, or relevant documentation detailing facilities that are used to house people civilly commitment for substance use and addiction, including the following information:
a. Summary of the number of individuals committed to each individual facility for substance use in each year since 2015, to latest available.
b. For each facility housing people civilly committed for substance use, summary of the number of individuals also being held on criminal charges in those same facilities
c. Which facilities employ or contract health care providers licensed to prescribe methadone and/or buprenorphine.
d. Number of individuals each facility is licensed to house.
e. State agency managing each facility housing people civilly committed for substance use disorder.
f. Any and all documentation noting the number of non-fatal and fatal overdose incidents within each facility housing people civilly committed for substance use disorder in each year since 2015.

4. Financial information. Summary statistics, reports, or relevant documentation regarding government resources or insurance funds that are used to pay for civil commitment for substance use/addiction in each year since 2015.

5. Re-entry planning. Any and all documentation regarding the re-entry planning process for people discharged from civil commitment for substance use disorder, including:
a. Overdose education and naloxone distribution
b. Linkage to treatment in the community
c. Linkage to housing in the community
d. Insurance assistance
e. Any other support or health services

6. External overdose data. Any and all documentation noting the number of overdose incidents of patients within 1 year of re-entry from civil commitment for substance use disorder/addiction in each year since 2015.

7. Mobile Pickups. Any and all documentation noting the number of patients who were arrested pursuant to a warrant and order for civil commitment in each year since 2015.

Because this request involves a matter of public concern and because it is made on behalf of a nonprofit organization, we ask that you waive any fees. If you decide not to waive fees, we request that you permit us to examine, at our election, the responsive documents before deciding which portions to transmit. We prefer the documents in electronic format.

Should you determine that some portion of the documents requested are exempt from disclosure, please release any reasonably segregable portions that are not exempt. In addition, please note the applicable statutory exemption and explain why it applies to the redacted portions. As you know, a custodian of public records shall comply with a request within 10 business days, as the statute requires after receipt.

Thank you for your assistance. We look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Louis Miyara
Health in Justice Action Lab
Northeastern University

From: Department of Correction

Good Afternoon,
Please see the attached response to your records request.
Best,

Kate Silvia
Director of Communications
Massachusetts Department of Correction
50 Maple Street
Milford, MA 01757
Phone: (508) 422-3436
Fax: (508) 422-3406

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From: Department of Correction

Good Morning,
Here is the information for bullet #5.
Best,

Kate Silvia
Director of Communications
Massachusetts Department of Correction
50 Maple Street
Milford, MA 01757
Phone: (508) 422-3436
Fax: (508) 422-3406

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