Minutes from 6/25/21 Meeting

Special Commission on Correctional Funding 
Friday, June 25, 2021 at 11 AM 
(virtual meeting) 

Commissioner Present: 

  • Chairman Brownsberger 
  • Chairman Day 
  • Kevin Coppinger 
  • James Cowdell 
  • Ben Forman 
  • Emi Joy 
  • Kevin Keefe 
  • James Morton 
  • Thomas Preston 
  • Representative Timothy Whelan 
  • Michael Widmer 
  • Edward Dolan 
  • Kate Cook 
  • Gerard Horgan 

Commissioners Absent: 

  • Christina Crowley 
  • Senator Ryan Fattman 
  • Thomas Hodgson 
  • Francesca Spina 
  • Michael Ashe – Dr. Sally Van Wright attended as proxy 

Chair Brownsberger called the meeting to order. Chair Day moved to accept minutes circulated for June 11, 2021 meeting, and motion was seconded. Roll call taken. Unanimously approved by members present.   

Stephen Amos from National Institute of Corrections (NIC) agreed to assist participating sheriff’s departments with their final reports and expects reports to be completed by July 15th.  Additionally, NIC agreed to help participating agencies create a comparison document for August 1st.  NIC expressed a willingness to assist participating agencies and other sheriff’s departments with a full analysis. Commissioner Coppinger plans to discuss this with other sheriffs at their July meeting.  

Carrie Hill provided an update on the Chapter 69 Matrix. She stated that, after checking with sheriffs, no further update to the matrix is needed. There may be additional information that Commissioners Forman and Joy receive from the Comptroller’s Office, which they will send to CFOs for review, but the Chapter 69 Matrix is otherwise complete.  

Commissioners Forman and Joy then provided an update on their analyses. Commissioner Forman reported that they are waiting for an updated piece of data from the Comptroller’s office. After receiving this information, their spending analysis should be complete.  

Chair Brownsberger asked for a status update on asset inventories. Carrie Hill reported that she will follow up with the Comptroller’s Office on asset inventories and try to get more information on annual reports filed by sheriffs with Ways and Means. Commissioner Preston reported that he will follow up on the DOC’s asset inventory.  

Chair Brownsberger proposed that the next Commission meeting be held on Monday, July 19th with smaller subcommittee meetings in the interim. Commission members agreed. 

The Substance Use, Mental Health, and Discretionary Spending Subcommittee then provided an update. Commissioner Cook reported that the subcommittee had just received a large amount of data from the Substance Use and Mental Health Matrix and needs time to review that along with other information in its possession. The subcommittee should be able to present in more detail at the July 19th meeting.  

Commissioner Preston and Carrie Hill then presented preliminary population data for substance use and mental health disorders contained in the Substance Use and Mental Health Matrix, highlighting key reporting differences across sheriff’s departments. Commission members discussed these discrepancies.  

Commissioner Forman asked if there was an assessment tool used by all sheriff departments that data could be extracted from. Dr. Van Wright stated that, while Hampden County does, not all sheriff’s departments use the same assessment tool.  

Chair Brownsberger entertained a motion to adjourn the meeting. Chair Day so moved, motion was seconded, and it was unanimously approved.  

The Commission will next meet on Monday, July 19, 2021, at 10AM.