- Posted: April 26, 2021 12:51 p.m.
- Last Updated: May 26, 2021 2:29 p.m.
Public Meeting Notice Restrictive Housing Oversight Committee Meeting
Overview of Restrictive Housing Oversight Committee Meeting
A meeting of the RHOC will be held on Thursday, April 29th, 2021 from 11am-1pm via Webex at the following link:
Restrictive Housing Oversight Committee
Hosted by Michaela Martini
Thursday, Apr 29, 2021 11:00 am | 2 hours | (UTC-04:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada)
Meeting number: 185 051 2759
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Access code: 185 051 2759
April 2021 Meeting Minutes
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Peck at 11:03am once a quorum of members had been established.
Meeting Minutes Approval/Vote
Justice Gerri Hines noted that Cassandra Bensahih’s last name was spelled incorrectly in the February 2021 minutes. The correction was made to the previous minutes. Dr. Henry made a motion to accept the minutes with that amendment. Attorney Fleischner seconded the motion. All voted in favor and the minutes were approved unanimously.
Chairman Peck stated on behalf of the “Conditions” subcommittee, that they are continuing to make great progress in working with the MSA on getting the information requests fulfilled.
Hollie Matthews was named chair of the “Prison Order and Control” subcommittee. They will be meeting sometime soon.
Attorney Fleischner stated his subcommittee on “Evaluating Other States” will be meeting on Tuesday, April 6th and hopes to give an update at the next RHOC meeting.
Chairman Peck stated that he has been working with the MSA on conducting interviews virtually to proceed with outstanding site visits that were halted due to the pandemic. He noted that EOPSS will be arranging virtual interviews with at least staff and inmates sometime in the next few months.
As an update, Chairman Peck also shared that with respect to the RHOC’s mandate #5 “the cost of restrictive housing”, DOC and EOPSS are beginning to conduct a deep dive into the financing of some of those units.
Justice Hines asked about the status of the Falcon Report. Chairman Peck and Deputy Commissioner Fallon reported that it is in its final stages but that there are some final edits that need to be made.
Attorney Fleischner asked about setting up a timeline to get the RHOC report out. Justice Hines stated she would like to move forward with the proposed January 31, 2022 deadline.
Mary Valerio spoke about the monthly reports issued by DOC for the Committee and noted that the DOC only lists male facilities and it was not clear if that was because there is no RH at the women’s facilities and even so, she would like to see the operational counts and the other information reported out. She spoke about the recent mothballing of South Middlesex and Framingham. Attorney Fleischner asked for a brief presentation at the next meeting about these updates.
Mary went on to say that the RHOC reports how 509 “support beds” meaning non-general population housing. She noted that at MCI-F, there are 125 persons in GP but an additional 40 in support beds. She interprets that to mean that 30% of the population is restricted in some way. She acknowledged that they may have medical or mental health issues but it is important to flag.
She went on to say that the APU (Accountability Program Unit) at Framingham is a unit where inmates who receive a category 1 or 2 ticket are sent without any due process. She said that if inmates do not complete the assigned program while in the unit, they can languish there indefinitely.
Elijah Patterson said this group should be discussing the 500 persons in support beds and discussing the DSB and the new women’s prison project.
Laura Wagner said that the APU is solitary in her opinion and that women are put in there for 21hours. She said that this body needs to be real and call it what it is. She also stated her frustration in making comments during the public comment period and not having any dialogue with the members of the Committee.
Justice Hines stated that there are limitations in the statute that do not allow for any response to be given in return to stated concerns from members of the public since there is no authority to do that.
Chairman Peck stated that during the member comment period, these comments can be addressed if anyone chooses to discuss a particular topic raised during a public comment period. Justice Hines said that she feels that in the spirit of give and take, she cannot effectively do what the public is looking for with the concerns they are raising. She said we can put some of these things in their report but that’s the extent of their abilities in addressing these.
There was a motion from Dr. Henry to adjourn. The motion was seconded by Attorney Fleischner. All voted in favor. The meeting adjourned at 11:50am.
- Call To Order
- March 2021 Meeting Minutes Review/Vote
- Kyle Pelletier (DOC): Update on APU at MCI-F and Support Beds
- Subcommittee Updates
- Member Comment
- Public Comment