Draft Minutes from 9/11/20 Meeting

Special Commission on Correctional Funding 
September 11, 2020 1-3pm 
Meeting via ZOOM at https://zoom.us/j/93527313482 

Documents Reviewed, Referenced, or Available at Meeting:
Draft Minutes from 3/6/20
Review of Commission’s Charge
Zoom Chat

Recording of Zoom meeting available.
-Passcode (required): 4DqgS&5g 

Commissioners Present:
Representative Michael Day
Senator Brownsberger
Ben Forman
Representative Timothy Whelan
Thomas Preston
Sheriff Kevin Coppinger
Sheriff Thomas Hodgson
James Morton
Edward Dolan
Kevin Keefe
Christina Crowley (joined at approximately 2:25 pm)
Emi Joy (joined 1:37pm)
Gerard Horgan
Sheriff Michael Ashe (at beginning of meeting)

Commissioners Absent: 
Senator Ryan Fattman
Gianni Maffeo
Michael Widmer
Kate Cook
Francesca Spina

The Commission convened shortly after 1pm through Zoom. Senator Brownsberger asked his Chief Counsel, Anne Landry, to call the roll of Commissioners. All were present but for Sen Fattman, Emi Joy (who later joined the meeting at 1:37pm), Gianni Maffeo, Mike Widmer, Christina Crowley (who later joined the meeting at approximately 2:25pm), Kate Cook, and Francesca Spina.

Representatives from the National Institute of Correction (NIC) introduced themselves: Mike Jackson, Stephen Amos, Glenn Watson, and Scott Richards.

Representative Day raised the question whether the Commission should record its meetings on Zoom. Sheriff Coppinger moved that the Commission record and publish their Zoom meetings and Commissioner Dolan seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous by roll call among all those present. The recording was subsequently turned on.

Senator Brownsberger inquired as to whether there were any objections to the draft minutes. The link to the draft minutes was made available on the website and in the Zoom chat. No objections were raised.

Representative Day provided an legislative update: the deadline for the Commission has been extended until September 1, 2021. He relayed that the plan is to move forward with the NIC process.

Stephen Amos explained how COVID-19 has changed the way in which NIC can provide technical assistance. NIC is committed to providing staffing analysis training to Massachusetts correctional facilities. The challenge has been: how to provide said training in a virtual environment? NIC’s goal is to gain the Commission’s concurrence and will develop an implementation plan, and send to the Commission for approval. They believe they can conduct the staffing analysis training for 4 facilities and send a report from NIC to the Commission by May 1, 2021.

Glenn Watson indicated that traditionally, this staffing analysis implementation would take place in person over the course of 36 hours, NIC having spent some time in facility to get an idea of what it would take to conduct field work. But there was no follow-up or coaching from NIC. In the new virtual model NIC is offering to Massachusetts, coaching will be provided in between periods of instruction. It should take approximately two months from the time of training to submit the draft report.

Stephen Amos and Mike Jackson provided some additional details: contractors would help provide training. For the duration of the contract, these NIC contractors would be made available to other jurisdictions in Massachusetts- to all houses of correction and to DOC facilities. Each team (per facility) will have a dedicated coach and instructor.

Tom Preston inquired whether they were proposing to provide this training to all DOC facilities. Mike Jackson confirmed that they are only looking at 4 facilities to start (3 jails and one DOC facility).

With no federal budget in sight, NIC will be operating on a continuing resolution. There is a slight possibility there will be funding issue, but leadership has committed to moving forward with this effort with the resources we have.

Sheriff Hodgson indicated he was excited about the proposal- that it will “show us our staffing needs” based on staffing best practices and will help the legislature “understand our need” for funding.

Sheriff Coppinger indicated he believed the NIC approach was the right way to go. He agrees with the model of teams working in-house to get data with the availability of NIC coaches to validate the process.

Senator Brownsberger said he would entertain a motion to move forward with the NIC pilot for four facilities with a formal agreement between NIC and the Commission, with NIC to bring written proposal to next meeting of Commission.

Ben Forman asked if this was a self-assessment by the facilities. NIC and several Commissioners agreed it was a self-assessment. Senator Brownsberger indicated it is a starting point. Sheriff Coppinger mentioned having this be a self-assessment is partially a security issue. Sheriff Coppinger and Tom Preston echoed similar concerns.

Emi Joy posed the question whether some of the briefing and training materials could be shared with the public.

Ben Forman said he was thinking more about data-sharing with another consultant as opposed to the public.

Sen Brownsberger suggested the Commission not make a decision today about what in the NIC process is public. He proposed a motion that the Commission endorse the general direction laid out by NIC. The motion was adopted unanimously by roll call among those present (at this point, Emi Joy had joined the meeting, Sheriff Ashe had left the meeting, and Christina Crowley had not yet joined the meeting).

The Commission approved the draft minutes among those present with a roll call vote. It was unanimous among those present (at this point, Emi Joy had joined the meeting, Sheriff Ashe had left the meeting, and Christina Crowley had not yet joined the meeting). 

The Commission reviewed the charge of the Commission. DCAMM is doing an analysis of correctional facilities’ physical assets. Emi Joy will formally request a status update from DCAMM. The Commission is envisioning a possible future presentation by DCAMM to the Commission. The Commission discussed whether they should retain a consultant to conduct quantitative analysis.

NIC was told they could leave the call, with the Commission planning to reconvene some time in mid-October.

Representative Day indicated the sooner the Commission gets moving on a data review, the easier the Commission’s work will be overall. The Commission decided to have the Chairs and Emi Joy touch base with ANF to ascertain what data and analysis are already available. If the Commission is able to pull the data from ANF, they may not need to hire a consultant. The Chairs and Emi Joy will report back to the Commission at the next meeting.

The Commissioners confirmed that meeting on Fridays generally works for people.

The Commissioners unanimously adopted a motion to adjourn by roll call vote (at which point, Sheriff Ashe had left the meeting and Emi Joy and Christina Crowley had joined). Senator Brownsberger offered to keep the Zoom room open to take questions from attendees to answer questions about the free prison phone calls bill he had sponsored, having seen related questions in the Zoom chat.

Notice and Agenda for 9/11/20 Meeting

Special Commission on Correctional Funding 
September 11, 2020 1-3pm 
Meeting via ZOOM at https://zoom.us/j/93527313482 
Commissioners will receive a separate log-in via email to attend as panelists.  

Meeting Notice and Agenda 

I. Review Meeting Format and Recording Policy

II. Recognition of Commissioners in Attendance 

III. Vote on 3/6/20 Draft Minutes 

IV. Legislative Update on Extension of Commission 

V. Update on NIC Process 

VI. Fulfilling Commission’s Charge Outside of NIC Process 

VII. Setting Next Meeting Date(s) 

Minutes from 3-6-20 Meeting

Special Commission on Correctional Funding
State House, Room 428
Boston, MA 02133
March 6, 2020, 11am

Meeting Minutes

Commissioners Present:
William N. Brownsberger, Senate Chair
Michael Day, House Chair
Mike Widmer
Ben Forman
Emi Joy
Thomas Preston
Gianni Maffeo
Sheriff Kevin F. Coppinger
Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson
James Morton
Kevin Keefe
Christina Crowley
Kate R. Cook
Francesca Spina (via remote participation)
Gerard J. Horgan
Sheriff Michael J. Ashe (ret)

Commissioners Absent:
Representative Timothy R. Whelan
Senator Ryan Fattman
Commissioner Edward J. Dolan

Documents Reviewed:

3/6/20 Meeting Agenda

Draft Minutes from 2/14/20 Meeting 

NIC Memorandum

NIC Statement of Work

After convening the meeting, the Commissioners unanimously (among those present) approved a motion to allow Commissioner Francesca Spina to participate remotely.

The Commission approved draft minutes from the 2/14/20 meeting unanimously among all those present.

National Institute of Corrections representatives, Chief Stephen Amos, Mike Jackson, [and Rod Miller?], reviewed the contents of the NIC memorandum and statement of work with the Commissioners.

Sheriff Ashe expressed his interest in having the Commission look at staffing analysis as well as ensuring that correctional facilities are humane environments.

NIC representatives explained that NIC teaches people to do staffing analysis but that NIC does not do it themselves. Instead, they utilize a peer-to-peer learning method where NIC does not “own the numbers.” Sheriffs’ departments would have to build their own capacity for ongoing staffing analysis.

The Commission discussed that a change in the mission of the Commission would require buy-in from sheriffs, DOC/EOPSS, and legislative leadership.

Representative Day indicated that staffing analysis addressed but one part of the Commission’s charge- that it could be a recommendation of the Commission or it could be something the sheriffs’ departments and the Department of Correction could undertake on their own.

The Commission discussed going back to legislative leadership, the Massachusetts Sheriffs Association, and the Commissioners’ appointing authorities to review the charge and reconvene.

NIC representatives described the biggest question that staffing analysis is designed to address as the following: “What is effective inmate supervision?” This can present a challenge. Unions can get involved. In Toledo, they ended up moving away from mandatory minimum staffing.

Ben Forman suggested that the Commission does not have to take this circuitous path, that the Commission should take on its mandate directly. Mike Widmer reflected that the Commission’s mandate is very broad.

Kate Cook explained that the Boston Bar Association is particularly interested in programming.

Sheriff Ashe mentioned that the DOC and the sheriffs do not usually work together but hopes the Commission will issue recommendations for them to work together to maximize correctional dollars.

Mike Widmer explained that the Commission’s mission is both fiscal and programmatic and wondered if staffing analysis looked at not only safety and security but also programming. He expressed a preference for continuing the Commission in the same fashion.

Senator Brownsberger invited public comment. Mary Valerio expressed concerns on behalf of prisoners and Dr. Michelle Fior [?] expressed her view that their should be a competitive bid process for a consultant, rather than utilizing the National Institute of Corrections.

Because there was confusion as to which version of minutes were approve, the Commission voted again unanimously among those present to clarify that the 2-14-20 minutes that they approved were those that appeared on the Commission website.

The Commission planned to meet again on March 20, 2020.

Minutes from 2-14-20 Meeting

Special Commission on Correctional Funding
State House, Room 428
Boston, MA 02133
February 14, 2020, 11am

Meeting Minutes

Commissioners Present:
Thomas Preston
Ben Forman
Emi Joy
Michael Day, State Representative, Co-Chair
Mike Ashe, Hampden County Sheriff (ret.)
Mike Widmer
Francesca Spina
Christina Crowley
James Morton
Edward Dolan
Kevin Keefe
Gerard Horgan
Tom Hodgson, Bristol County Sheriff

Kevin Coppinger, Essex County Sheriff
Will Brownsberger, State Senator, Co-Chair

Commissioners Absent:
Kate Cook
Timothy Whelan, State Representative (for beginning of meeting)
Gerard Horgan
Ryan Fattman, State Senator

State Representative Michael Day was introduced as the new Co-Chair of the Commission.

 The Commissioners voted to approve the minutes from January 10, 2020 and January 24, 2020.

Senator Brownsberger provided an update on the status of the RFP, which was in draft form but still required further legal review.

Stephen Amos and Mike Jackson of the National Institute of Corrections’ Jails Division provided an overview of NIC operations.

The Commission discussed how to proceed, given that NIC advised that staffing analysis was more complicated than the current statement of work allowed.

The Commission decided, at Sheriff Hodgson’s suggestion, that Bristol County could be the subject of a prototype staffing analysis by NIC  that would inform the commission’s further work. Sheriff Coppinger also offered his facilities as a subject for study.

NIC said they could provide a statement of work that could get someone on the ground in 6-8 weeks to do this work.

The Commission decided to meet again on March 6th at 11am.

Minutes from 1/10/20 and 1/24/20 Meetings of Commission and Subcommittees

Special Commission on Correctional Funding
Finance and Data Subcommittees
January 10, 2020, 11am
State House, Room 428, Boston, MA 02133

Meeting Minutes

Commissioners Present:

Emi Joy
Ben Forman
Mike Widmer
Will Brownsberger, Co-Chair, State Senator
Edward Dolan, Commissioner
James Morton
Kate Cook
Gianni Maffeo
Mike Ashe, Hampden County Sheriff (ret.)
Tim Whelan, State Representative
Tom Hodgson, Bristol County Sheriff          
Kevin Coppinger, Essex County Sheriff
Gerard Horgan
Tom Preston

Commissioners Absent (Not Necessarily Members of Subcommittee):

Denise Garlick, Co-Chair, State Representative
Ryan Fattman, State Senator
Kevin Keefe
Christina Crowley
Francesca Spina

The Commissioners introduced themselves, and Mike Widmer and Ben Forman were voted in to chair the subcommittee. The Commissioners discussed a scope of work for a consultant presented by Senator Brownsberger and decided to include as part of the scope of work, in addition to what the Senator presented, a study of employee recruitment and retention. The Commissioners decided to go ahead with developing an RFP based on that scope of work, with the plan to bring the selection of the consultant back to the Commission.

Special Commission on Correctional Funding
MAT and Programming Subcommittees
January 10, 2020, 2pm
State House, Room 428, Boston, MA 02133

Meeting Minutes

Commissioners Present:
Will Brownsberger, Co-Chair, State Senator
Denise Garlick, State Representative
Mike Ashe, Hampden County Sheriff (ret.)
Thomas Hodgson, Bristol County Sheriff
Kevin Coppinger, Essex County Sheriff
Gerard Horgan
Christina Crowley
Kevin Keefe

Commissioners Absent (Not Necessarily Members of Subcommittee):
Ben Forman
Timothy R. Whelan, State Representative
Ryan Fattman, State Senator
Emi Joy
Thomas Preston
Gianni Maffeo
James Morton
Edward J. Dolan
Kate R. Cook
Francesca Spina


Representative Garlick provided a memorandum, summarizing information relative to medication assisted treatment and programming provided by the Massachusetts Sheriffs Association and the Department of Corrections.

Commissioners discussed visiting Houses of Corrections with MAT programs and their interest in seeking data for cost of materials, staffing, timing, and training.

Sheriff Coppinger of Essex County provided descriptions of MAT programs being offered. Essex County reported that the provider for their MAT programs is Wellpath. They are seeing successful results as of September 1 and they believe this is due to counseling being offered in addition to MAT. Essex is carefully tracking real-time data so the program can be adjusted in the moment. All data is being submitted to the Department of Public Health.

Commissioners discussed general programming offered by correctional facilities. The sheriffs described how inmates are connected with programming and how they offered programs through outside vendors or volunteer organizations.

The Commissioners discussed a need for a survey to understand programming outcomes so funding can be directed accordingly.

Special Commission on Correctional Funding
Essex County House of Corrections, Public Training Room
20 Manning Avenue
Middleton, MA
January 24, 2020, 11am

Meeting Minutes

Commissioners Present:
Thomas Preston
Ben Forman
Emi Joy
Kate Cook
Mike Ashe, Hampden County Sheriff (ret.)
Mike Widmer
Francesca Spina
Christina Crowley
James Morton
Edward Dolan
Kevin Keefe
Gerard Horgan
Kevin Coppinger, Essex County Sheriff
Will Brownsberger, State Senator, Co-Chair

Commissioners Absent:
House Co-Chair (not yet named)
Timothy Whelan, State Representative
Gianni Maffeo
Thomas M. Hodgson, Bristol County Sheriff

The Commissioners reviewed the topics discussed at the subcommittee meetings held on January 10, 2020.

Senator Brownsberger indicated that Representative Garlick would no longer be chairing the Commission based on a new responsibility in the House of Representatives and that he was awaiting word of who would act as his Co-Chair.

The Commissioners decided to invite the National Institute of Corrections to their next meeting and to ask them for technical assistance in reviewing the scope of work for the consultant.

Sheriff Coppinger and correctional staff provided an overview of their operations and Sheriff Coppinger invited Commissioners and members of the public to join him on a tour of his facilities.