|Submitted||Feb. 20, 2017|
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To Whom It May Concern:
Pursuant to the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act, I hereby request the following documents:
The last five complete grievances from each institution under the jurisdiction of this Department.
Please include the initial grievance, the grievance number, date of initial submission, description of the grievance, disposition of the grievance, and all correspondence and responses related to the grievance.
According to Policy Number CD-150501:
"To adequately ensure tracking of grievances through the process, once the inmate’s grievance is submitted to the grievance officer for appeal, it will be transmitted by email once completed with their additional information to the Statewide Grievance/Disciplinary Appeals Manager.
a. All grievances and completed correspondence issues to include the final disposition with the signatures will be scanned and entered into the J drive folder which will allow the Grievance officer /Statewide Grievance/Disciplinary Appeals Manager, Secretary of Corrections, Deputy Secretary of Corrections, Adult Prisons Director, Deputy Directors of Adult Prisons and the Office of General Counsel access to the entire responses."
Please redact any eligible names or other personally-identifying information.
Please include the last five completed grievances from the following facilities:
Northwest New Mexico Correctional Center
Guadalupe County Correctional Facility
Lea County Correctional Facility
Northeast New Mexico Detention Facility
Otero County Prison Facility
Western New Mexico Correctional Facility
Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility
Central New Mexico Correctional Facility
Penitentiary of New Mexico
Springer Correctional Facility
Roswell Correctional Center
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.
Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 15 business days, as the statute requires.
Beryl C.D. Lipton
This is in response to your IPRA request below. It has been determined the information you are requesting: “The last five complete grievances from each institution under the jurisdiction of this Department. Please include the initial grievance, the grievance number, date of initial submission, description of the grievance, disposition of the grievance, and all correspondence and responses related to the grievance”.
Please be advised inmate grievances and documentation are confidential and not subject to inspection. The Department has statutory and case law authority for designating inmate grievances as confidential pursuant to its policy, CD-150500 (C)(8). Pursuant to City of Las Cruces v. PELRB, 121 N.M. 688, 917 P.2d 451 (1996), a public entity has the right to promulgate a regulation or policy making certain records private if the regulation is authorized by a statute. In that case, the court determined that such records made confidential by a statute are excluded from disclosure under the Inspection of Public Records Act pursuant to the “as otherwise provided by law” exception (Section 14-2-1 (A)(8) NMSA). In this case, the relevant statute is the Corrections Act, particularly Section 33-1-6 (B) NMSA. The Corrections Department strives to ensure the policies and procedures in place encourage inmates to come forward to file grievances. Inmates understand those grievances they file are not public. If inmates believed that their specific grievances would be made available to the public, including other inmates, they would likely not file them due to a fear for their own safety and security. Such a disclosure of the inmate grievances to the public would jeopardize the safety and security of the complaining inmates, chill if not prevent the filing of the grievances to the detriment of the department and its inmates, and interfere with its inmates’ rehabilitation and subsequent reintegration into society pursuant to Section 33-1-6 (H) NMSA of the Act.
The person responsible for this denial is New Mexico Corrections Department General Counsel, Jim Brewster, Esq.
The Department has fully responded to your request and is considering the matter closed.
Office of General Counsel
New Mexico Corrections Department
PO Box 27116 Santa Fe, NM 87502-0116
The documents and message accompanying this transmission contain information that is from the Office of General Counsel, NM Corrections Dept. The information is intended only for use by the individual or entity to which this transmission has been addressed. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution, action, or reliance upon the contents of the documents and message is strictly prohibited, as this communication is intended solely for the use of the individual(s) or entity to whom it is addressed. If you are not the intended recipient or received these documents by mistake or error, please contact this office for instructions on its destruction or return.