Mortality Data and Related Policies, 2000-2020

COVID Prison Project filed this request with the Department of Corrections of Washington .
Tracking #

P020984-052621

Due June 7, 2021
Est. Completion July 1, 2021
Status
Awaiting Response

Communications

From: COVID Prison Project

Denise Vaughan
Public Disclosure Specialist
Public Disclosure Unit
Washington Department of Corrections
7345 Linderson Way SW
Tumwater, WA 98501-6504

To Denise Vaughan:

Pursuant to the Washington Public Records Act, §42.56 et seq., I hereby request the following records:

– Files which include time and date of all instances of death occurring in the offender population between January 2000 and December 2020.

– Files which indicate the total number of individuals in Washington Department of Corrections (WDOC) 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 WDOC between January 2000 and December 2020.

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

Additionally, I am requesting an opportunity to inspect or obtain copies of any and all WDOC 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 WDOC 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 Washington Public Records Act requires a response to this request be made within five business days. If access to the records I am requesting will take longer than this amount of time, 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 assistance in this matter.

Sincerely,

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:

--- Please respond above this line ---

Dear Forrest Behne:

Your request for records was received on May 26, 2021. This request has been assigned public records tracking number P-20984. Please reference that number in any future correspondence regarding this request. I interpret your request to be for the following records:

1. Record that includes the date and time of all instances of death of incarcerated individuals between January 2000 and December 2020
2. Record that indicates the total number of individuals in Washington Department of Corrections (WADOC) custody who died by any cause, separated monthly, from January 2000 to December 2020
3. Monthly population records that include the total number of deaths occurring among people in the custody of the WADOC between January 2000 and December 2020
4. Final reports of death for all individuals in WADOC custody who died between January 2000 and December 2020
5. WADOC policies, regulations, and procedures regarding Investigations of in‐custody deaths
6. WADOC policies, regulations, and procedures regarding the requirements for the performance of an autopsy or post‐mortem medical examination of individuals who die while in WADOC custody
7. WADOC policies, regulations, and procedures regarding the reporting of in‐custody deaths to other governmental agencies
8. WADOC policies, regulations, and procedures regarding next‐of‐kin notification in the event of in‐custody deaths

Clarification is needed for requested item #4 which discusses final reports of death. What type of record are you referencing here? Please let me know either what specific document you are looking for or what information you are hoping to get, and I can see what record the Department may have that would be responsive. I will wait for your clarification on this request item.

I have gathered and attached installment #1 of P-20984. Installment #1 consists of 9 pages. These records have been identified as being responsive to items 5-8 listed above.

Item #6 requests records regarding the requirements for an autopsy or post-mortem medical examination of individuals who die while in WADOC custody. WADOC does not perform autopsy or post-mortem medical examinations or set the requirements. However, the attached records contain WADOC Policy 620.200 which does discuss this subject matter. You may want to reach out to the appropriate county coroner’s office for additional responsive records. Item #6 is considered closed.

We will proceed with the 2nd installment of your request. I will correspond with you regarding the status of P-20984 within 20 business days, on or before, July 1, 2021.

Sincerely,
Angela Volk
Public Records Unit
Department of Corrections
PO Box 41118
Olympia WA 98504-1118

AV: P-20984

To monitor the progress or update this request please log into the Public Records Center (https://u8387778.ct.sendgrid.net/ls/click?upn=6HtRfOYLt5fXvpttM-2FU1HcdZ9S2k2Ana7Z4Fii3g4UYyvy-2FAxvhPG-2BzZZxjKVxOYC-2BfLnqvkjRWvlWxvHF0YXkZvEMH9iOhUFbB3lKtN9plE7OrrBLeI3tzID-2FiPgoW-2BrTE7_SGS22ebleFoGR5Hx0-2BKHZlhwCTW3D-2BCJFZlDPahF0HnpsNRsAND2MvhSgWNe-2Btuhujl6SFemmPP7xSTqLqO-2BjfnKiFSytIQvonusFMzwkroeGb-2BiK7KLGMWOJAqFazwxL3DMDx1EPrlBEJk0Oqo6Wyck173pwqs4v-2F562Fhm61JQvNsPBcqC1b4Ld-2FjsjkqEjjlRv6DDu4-2BNdkqUbkdWCnGxN2KBU1nUhn855mpDgt04xkrYDeiSB7Ixn-2FIaHRNDRBSBVowasLPztLDPi7WBBpIfCnFCywPRhhWSOBCIdft9BL1KKdZBdZDsSIhEKTamIdigCWSYN5SRBRMdMyN8gCJynomWdVW1k3WG9g6JnmMin6iz7XKRug0g6pBN6PvdfFm78QXo5TNUSwkjkri1Jw-3D-3D)

From: Department of Corrections

Dear Forrest Behne:

Your request for records was received on May 26, 2021. This request has been assigned public records tracking number P-20984. Please reference that number in any future correspondence regarding this request. I interpret your request to be for the following records:

1. Record that includes the date and time of all instances of death of incarcerated individuals between January 2000 and December 2020
2. Record that indicates the total number of individuals in Washington Department of Corrections (WADOC) custody who died by any cause, separated monthly, from January 2000 to December 2020
3. Monthly population records that include the total number of deaths occurring among people in the custody of the WADOC between January 2000 and December 2020
4. Final reports of death for all individuals in WADOC custody who died between January 2000 and December 2020
5. WADOC policies, regulations, and procedures regarding Investigations of in‐custody deaths
6. WADOC policies, regulations, and procedures regarding the requirements for the performance of an autopsy or post‐mortem medical examination of individuals who die while in WADOC custody
7. WADOC policies, regulations, and procedures regarding the reporting of in‐custody deaths to other governmental agencies
8. WADOC policies, regulations, and procedures regarding next‐of‐kin notification in the event of in‐custody deaths

Clarification is needed for requested item #4 which discusses final reports of death. What type of record are you referencing here? Please let me know either what specific document you are looking for or what information you are hoping to get, and I can see what record the Department may have that would be responsive. I will wait for your clarification on this request item.

I have gathered and attached installment #1 of P-20984. Installment #1 consists of 9 pages. These records have been identified as being responsive to items 5-8 listed above.

Item #6 requests records regarding the requirements for an autopsy or post-mortem medical examination of individuals who die while in WADOC custody. WADOC does not perform autopsy or post-mortem medical examinations or set the requirements. However, the attached records contain WADOC Policy 620.200 which does discuss this subject matter. You may want to reach out to the appropriate county coroner’s office for additional responsive records. Item #6 is considered closed.

We will proceed with the 2nd installment of your request. I will correspond with you regarding the status of P-20984 within 20 business days, on or before, July 1, 2021.

Sincerely,
Angela Volk
Public Records Unit
Department of Corrections
PO Box 41118
Olympia WA 98504-1118

AV: P-20984

From: COVID Prison Project

Angela Volk
Public Records Unit
Department of Corrections
PO Box 41118
Olympia WA 98504-1118

Hello Ms. Volk,

Thank you for your quick response and attention to this matter. You've already been most helpful in providing the above information. Your request for clarification is also appreciated; I should be able to provide clarification in regards to item #4. We are specifically interested in form "DOC 13-402: Medical Reporting of Patient Death." Should that not be available or convey information which is otherwise exempt, we would be interested in receiving information pertaining to the total number of resident deaths, the associated cause of death for these individuals, and demographic information.

We understand the patient privacy concerns this request may generate. De-identified records and data would be perfectly sufficient to satisfy our organizations needs.

As for the matter of post-mortem examinations in item #6, we certainly understand the organizational limitations in that request. We are grateful for your considerate reply in suggesting county coroner records as a possible avenue to fulfill this request.

Gratefully,

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

Hello Forrest Behne,
You have responded to an unresponsive email.

Please be advised that if you wish to submit a public records request, update an existing request, or check the status of an already submitted request, you should visit the Public Records Center.

Thank you
This is an auto-generated email and has originated from an unmonitored email account. Please DO NOT REPLY.

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