Criminal Justice Press Release

05.05.20

ACLU of Ohio Files Formal Request with ODRC For Public Records re Handling and Management of COVID-19 in Ohio Prisons

Gavel Laying On Side

COLUMBUS— On May 4, the ACLU of Ohio filed public records requests with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections seeking information about the handling and management of COVID-19 in Ohio prisons.

The ACLU of Ohio is seeking:

1.) Any and  all records containing  recommendations, proposals, calculations, forecasts, plans, and procedures, currently in use and not in use, for reducing Ohio’s prison population related to COVID- 19 concerns, including, but not limited to, ORC §2967.18, §2929.20, §2967.05, and §2967.19.

2.) Any and all records containing recommendations, proposals, calculations, forecasts, plans, and procedures, currently in use and not in use, for accomplishing social distancing and otherwise mitigating COVID-19 spread.

3.) Any and all records of grievances filed by Ohio Civil Service Employees Association members in relation to COVID-19 in ODRC facilities.

4.) Any and all records sufficient to show how many COVID-19 test kits were obtained by ODRC, how the tests were acquired, how many are available for use as of the date of this request, and the cost of acquiring the test kits, respectively.

5.) Any and all records sufficient to show the number of people currently in each Ohio prison, as of the date of this request, who have a documented history of preexisting conditions that renders them susceptible to COVID-19, including pulmonary, heart, renal, or liver disease, diabetes, hypertension, severe obesity (BMI of 40 or higher), or any condition causing them to be immunocompromised (e.g. cancer treatment, HIV/AIDS, organ transplants). Requested records are for number of prisoners per ODRC facility, not individual prisoner identities.

6.) Any and all records of prisoner transfers, resulting from confirmed and/or suspected COVID-19 infections, from ODRC facilities to Franklin Medical Center and/or an outside hospital or other medical care facility. We are not seeking any personally identifiable information. We are requesting records which indicate the total number of transferred prisoners from individual ODRC facilities to the Franklin Medical Center and/or an individual outside hospital or other medical care facility.

7.) Any and all records, that illustrate the criteria for an individual to be tested for COVID-19, the number of individuals who have been tested for COVID-19, are pending results, and/or confirmed positive cases in jails in Ohio.

8.) Any and all records sent or received regarding the formal deployment of the Ohio National Guard in any Ohio prison.

  1. We are specifically seeking documents describing the Ohio National Guard’s specific duties, mandates, and restrictions (if any) on duties they perform in this Ohio prison context.

For the purposes of this request, “records” means any and all writings, documents, correspondences, papers, text files, computer files, emails, text messages, archives, journals, or logs.