18-20 year olds in Massachusetts County Houses of Correction (Middlesex County Sheriff's Office)

Joshua Dankoff filed this request with the Middlesex County Sheriff's Office of Middlesex County, MA.
Multi Request 18-20 year olds in Massachusetts County Houses of Correction
Due Nov. 18, 2021
Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Response

Communications

From: Joshua Dankoff

Dear County Sheriff's Office,

This is a request under the Massachusetts Public Records Law (M. G. L. Chapter 66, Section 10), for documents in your Department’s possession regarding 18-, 19-, and 20-year-olds in your custody. I am writing on behalf of Citizens for Juvenile Justice (CfJJ), a nonprofit organization advocating for equitable youth justice in Massachusetts.

With respect to the form of production, we note that relevant regulations require the production of records in an accessible, commonly used electronic form, to the extent feasible. See 950 CMR 32.04(5)(d). Record custodians are also required to implement new record keeping systems and databases in such a way as to allow for “retrieval of public portions of records to provide maximum public access.” See 950 CMR 32.07(1)(e). Extraction of such data from a database or electronic record system does not constitute creating a new record. See 950 CMR 32.07(1)(f). Printing these records from a database or electronic system, redacting them with a marker, and then re-scanning them, is generally not consistent with these regulations; this process provides the digital records neither in the preferred form nor in a “searchable machine-readable form.” 950 CMR 32.04(5)(d). If necessary, we welcome reasonable suggested modifications pursuant to 950 CMR 32.06(2)(g). Per Attorney Gen. v. Dist. Attorney for Plymouth Dist., 484 Mass. 260, 141 N.E.3d 429 (2020), compiling information from a database is not tantamount to creating a new record that would otherwise be precluded under public records law. Specifically: “Where public records are in electronic form, a public records request that requires a government entity to search its electronic database to extract requested data does not mean that the extracted data constitute the creation of a new record, which would not be required, under the public records law. " Id. at 442 to 443. Thus, we request that your department query its database and provide a response to the records request below.

1. A list of every field or type of data tracked in your electronic database (e.g. “Race”, “Date of Birth”, “date of admission”, etc.)

2. We request an extracted record in excel or other computer readable format of your data management system/case management system with line level data for the following fields for all people in your physical custody at some point in fiscal years 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 and who entered your custody between the ages of 18 years old and 20 years old and 364 days (ie prior to their 21st birthday) either pre-trial or sentenced:
- Date of admission
- Reason of admission (pre-trial, serving sentence, etc)
- Lead charge/most serious offense or its equivalent
- Date of Birth (or, if this is deemed to be information subject to an exemption, then please include month and year of birth (though not day))
- Date of release
- Length of stay
- Length of sentence (if applicable)
- Race
- Ethnicity
- Gender/sex
- Zipcode of home/last residence
- Sexual Orientation / Gender Identity
- Date(s) of disciplinary action taken, if any
- Type of disciplinary action taken, if any
- Days spent (or dates of admission to and release from) in Restrictive Housing, segregated housing unit or any other unit where an incarcerated individual stays in their room for a minimum of 21 hours.
- Whether the individual is/was housed in a specialized unit (such as the PEACE unit in Suffolk or PACT in Middlesex) as applicable.

3. Average annual cost of HOC incarceration for an 18-, 19-, and 20-year-old, separated by the costs of pre-trial detention and sentenced. If there are special units associated with this age group, please break down costs for general population and the special units.

4. Cost of one day in restrictive housing or when individuals are held for 21 hours or more.

Thank you for considering our request. We look forward to hearing back from you and working with you. We are available to answer any questions regarding this data request or our work. We can be reached by email through the address provided, or by phone at 617.338.1050.

Sincerely,

Joshua Dankoff
Director of Strategic Initiatives
Citizens for Juvenile Justice

Sana Fadel
Deputy Director
Citizens for Juvenile Justice

From: Middlesex County Sheriff's Office

Hi Josh and Sana,

I am in receipt of your public records request below. I am still working on gathering the requested information. Thank you for your patience. If you have any further questions please let me know.

Thank you,
Malav Patel

Malav Patel, Esq.
Associate Legal Counsel
Middlesex Sheriff’s Office
Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian
400 Mystic Ave. 4th Fl.
Medford, MA 02155
P 781 960 2800 | F 781 960 2902

The information contained in this electronic message and any files attached may be legally privileged and confidential under applicable law, and is intended only for the use of the individual or entity named above. If the recipient of this message is not the above-named intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any use, dissemination, copy or disclosure of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please immediately notify our office via telephone at 781-960-2800 or through reply email at mspatel@sdm.state.ma.us<mailto:mspatel@sdm.state.ma.us> and purge the communication immediately without making any copy or distribution.

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