Mortality Data and Related Policies, 2000-2020

COVID Prison Project filed this request with the Department of Corrections of Missouri.
Est. Completion None
Fix Required


From: COVID Prison Project

Garry Brix
Public Information Officer
Missouri Department of Corrections
2729 Plaza Drive
P.O. Box 236
Jefferson City, MO 65102

To Garry Brix:

Pursuant to the The Missouri Sunshine Law, I hereby request the following 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 Missouri Department of Corrections (MDOC) 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 MDOC between January 2000 and December 2020.

– Final reports of death for all individuals in MDOC custody who died between January 2000 and December 2020.

Additionally, I am requesting an opportunity to inspect or obtain copies of any and all MDOC 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 MDOC custody.

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

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

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

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.

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.

The Missouri Sunshine Law requires a response within three business days. If access to the records I am requesting will take longer than this time period, please contact me with information about when I might expect copies or the ability to inspect the requested records.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation 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

We have received your request for documents dated May 25, 2021. Your request is being processed under the Missouri Sunshine Law.
In our effort to respond as quickly as possible to requests for documents, we have specifically designated many documents that are considered open records under the Sunshine Law and can be released immediately. If the documents you have requested are on that list, you should receive the information very quickly. If the records you request have not been previously designated for immediate release, your request will be reviewed to see if the records are open or closed. After this review, either the records will be provided to you, or we will advise you that they are closed and cite the specific provisions of the law under which access is denied.
Due to the size of our agency and the volume of records we maintain, locating, reviewing, and copying the records could take up to thirty working days. Should we find that we will not be able to get the records to you within thirty working days, we will contact you again to tell you the reason for the delay.
The Sunshine Law allows the department to require payment for the costs associated with reviewing and copying the requested records. You will be notified of the estimated charges prior to the expense being incurred.
Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions.

Record Custodian
Office of the Director
MO Department of Corrections.

From: Department of Corrections

This is the first of many emails, I will continue to send what we have.

Record Custodian
Office of the Director
MO Department of Corrections

From: Department of Corrections

Unfortunately, our response is too large to email. What address can I mail these too?

Record Custodian
Office of the Director
MO Department of Corrections