State/local policies re: hostages within correctional facilities (Department of Corrections)

Beryl Lipton filed this request with the Department of Corrections of Virginia.


From: Beryl Lipton

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to Virginia Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request the following records:

All policies, procedures, memorandums of agreements, other memos, directives, communications, occurrence reports, and any other relevant materials regarding the reporting, negotiations, control, aftermath, and general treatment of hostages taken or individuals restrained in a hostage-like manner by individuals detained or under the supervision of facilities maintained under the jurisdiction of this agency, including juvenile, local, and private facilities, if applicable. If additional policies are maintained by other agencies, direction indicating such would be greatly appreciated.

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 fees cannot be waived, 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 5 business days, as the statute requires.


Beryl Lipton


Dear Mr. Lipton,

This office is in receipt of your request for information below. The Virginia Department of Corrections maintains the following operating procedures that contain information responsive to your request: (1) OP 075.4 Critical Incident Negotiation Team (11/1/14; 5 pgs.); (2) OP 075.1 Emergency Operations Plan (1/1/15; 16 pgs.); and (3) OP 075.5 Crisis Response Team (3/1/15; 6 pgs.). However, these security procedures are being withheld in their entirety pursuant to Code of Virginia §2.2-3705.2(6) which exempts from mandatory disclosure, “…operation, procedural, tactical planning or training manuals…the disclosure of which would reveal surveillance techniques, personnel deployments…or operational and transportation plans or protocols, to the extent such disclosure would jeopardize the security of any governmental facility, building or structure or the safety of persons using such facility, building or structure.”

Further, the Department maintains limited information that would be responsive to that portion of your request that seeks copies of occurrence reports from an incident that occurred in August 1996. However, that information is being withheld in its entirety pursuant to Code of Virginia §2.2-3705.2(6) as identified above as well as pursuant to Code of Virginia §2.2-3706 (A)(2)(d) which exempts from mandatory disclosure documents maintained as part of an individual offender’s record of imprisonment.

Thank you for contacting the Virginia Department of Corrections.


Michele Howell
Michele S. Howell
Legal Issues Coordinator
Department of Corrections
6900 Atmore Drive
Richmond, VA 23225
(804) 887-8340 - phone
(804) 674-3509 - fax


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