Special Commission on Correctional Funding
December 4, 2020 11am-1pm
Meeting via ZOOM at https://zoom.us/j/95446360095
(Commissioners received a separate log-in via email to attend as panelists.)
Michael Day, Co-chair, Appointed by the Speaker
Will Brownsberger, Co-chair, Appointed by the Senate President
Timothy R. Whelan, Appointed by the House Minority Leader
- Emi Joy, EOPSS CFO, Appointed by the Secretary
Forman, MassINC, Appointed by the Senate President
- Thomas Preston, Deputy Commissioner of
Administration, Appointed by the Commissioner of the Department of Correction
- James Morton, Appointed by the Chief Justice of
the Trial Court
- Commissioner of Probation Edward
- Kevin Keefe, Appointed by the Chair of the Parole Board
- Christina Crowley, Plymouth County Assistant
District Attorney, Appointed by the Massachusetts Bar Association
- Michael Widmer, Appointed by the Speaker
- Kate R. Cook, Sugarman
Rogers, Appointed by the Boston Bar Association (present for most of the
- Jon D’Angelo on behalf of Sheriff Michael J. Ashe,
Jr., Appointed by the Governor
- Gerard Horgan, Esq., Appointed by the Governor
(joined approximately at 12pm)
- Senator Ryan Fattman,
Appointed by the Senate Minority Leader
- Gianni Maffeo, Appointed by the Secretary of
Administration and Finance
- Francesca Spina, Ph.D., Appointed by the
- Essex County Sheriff Kevin F. Coppinger,
Appointed by the Massachusetts Sheriffs’ Association
- Bristol County Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson,
Appointed by the Massachusetts Sheriffs’ Association
Staffing Analysis Cooperative Agreement Document
Funding Commission Charge
Senator Brownsberger called the meeting to order shortly
after 11am and introduced legislative staff members Anne Landry and Caitlin
Senator Brownsberger inquired as to whether there were any
objections to the draft minutes from 11/6/20. No objections were raised and a
roll call was taken. With the exception of those absent, the Commission unanimously
approved the draft minutes.
Senator Brownsberger introduced and recognized Mike Jackson
and Stephen Amos from the National Institute of Corrections to provide an
update to the Commission.
Stephen Amos stated that the cooperative agreement was
released on December 2nd. The application deadline is January 15th,
as they would like to begin the process on March 4th. Stephen Amos
stated that they welcome all that would like to pursue this cooperative
agreement. And that they will provide the Commission with regular reporting’s
and with any questions or changes that may come up along the way.
Senator Brownsberger stated that the document will be made
available on the correctional funding website and that the meeting will now
move on to the DCAMM presentation.
Commissioner Emi Joy thanked DCAMM for joining as they have
been working very hard to go through every fiscal aspect under corrections to
come up with what sort of investment decisions should be made. Their
presentation is solely an architectural look, but it is a critical building
block and something that DCAMM is relied on for. Commissioner Joy introduced
Emmanuel Andrade as the project manager at DCAMM, who gave the presentation.
At 11:20 am Senator Brownsberger began the recording of the
meeting and stated that the prior action to the meeting was the approval of
minutes and an update from NIC.
Emmanuel Andrade presented the Facility Condition Assessment
of Correctional Facilities. The presentation is a product of a partnership with
the DOC and the county sheriffs’ departments. Mr. Andrade described the first
section of the presentation as the Facility Condition Assessment’s (FCA) scope
and approach of the project. The second section includes the overall conditions
of the correctional portfolio, the third is the review of the repair needs they
identified, and the fourth is a quick recap and presentation of some of the
current capital investments performed by DCAMM.
After presenting the slide show, Mr. Andrade stated that
this is the first time the Commonwealth has done a review of the portfolio; the
FCA is limited as it only looks at facility needs and does not look at space
needs based on the population or bed count in the correctional portfolio. This
only looks at facility needs, building systems and components on the basis of a
future investment by the Commonwealth.
Senator Brownsberger thanked Emmanuel Andrade for his
excellent presentation and asked if Commissioner Joy wanted to put this into
Commissioner Joy put the correctional portfolio in the
context of the rest of the Commonwealth, stating that the Commonwealth is
limited in the total number of capital dollars it has to invest; EOPSS is often
making requests or suggesting prioritizing projects. They prioritize projects based
on their value; they ask the question whether it is an investment or a repair
that needs to happen right away. There is only a limited amount of dollars and
they must look to see where they can direct the monies to have the highest
impact. They look at the programmatic goals and match that to what spaces are
there and the possibilities of how they can grow and expand to better suit the
Senator Brownsberger asked Commissioner Joy what the process
is to take it to the next level of facility needs from a policy perspective.
Commissioner Joy stated that there are a couple of paths
forward but they haven’t had the full discussion on which path to take yet. One
of their past works has been a master plan under DCAMM that has taken the full
view of what is the baseline of planned needs and how to prioritize these needs,
but how they plug the programmatic needs into it is variable and they have not
decided on that yet. The conversations are ongoing and they are really hoping
to have a plan soon.
Commissioner Widmer asked Commissioner Joy if they will take
into consideration how many people we actually need in prisons.
Commissioner Joy stated this is absolutely something they
are looking into and thinking about. They will pull data from other states to
look at the trends and to do their best to change and build.
Representative Whelan stated that the prison population in
MA is 49th-50th in the nation in the percentage of
citizens that we have in our correctional facilities, so the mass incarceration
rates that we hear about cited in the news tend to be outside of our state.
Commissioner Widmer stated that this is an important fact but
doesn’t change the question whether MA should change its incarceration policy.
Representative Whelan responded that this lies outside of
the control of the DOC and something that the Judiciary itself will have to
look at. The Judiciary and legislature would have to address, the DOC has no
say in this.
Commissioner Widmer noted that he appreciates that, but that
it will be something the Commission will need to look at as we are looking at
investments over 10 years.
Commissioner Joy stated that there are still important
conversations that need to be had and that any good plan should be adaptable to
Senator Brownsberger thanked DCAMM for their presentation
and asked for an update from Ben Forman.
Representative Day thanked DCAMM as well and wanted to make
sure the Commission could post the presentation on the Commission’s website with
their permission. Permission was granted by DCAMM.
Commissioner Forman said that he was very briefly able to
connect with Commissioner Joy and she had some very helpful suggestions. The
goal is to better understand healthcare expenditures, program expenditures, and
it would be good to go to each of the agencies with a survey to better
understand how they are paying for healthcare expenditures, especially, to
break down the difference between behavioral health and general health. When
trying to understand healthcare expenditures they had not previously done any
of this analysis and it seems like this might be a topic the Commission would
like to pursue to identify and understand these expenditures. They also discussed
special initiatives and will want to make sure the Commission classifies those
expenditures accurately in its analysis. Commissioner Joy suggested they put
together a short survey to send to the departments so that the Commission can
better understand before starting to classify them into budget object codes.
Commissioner Joy clarified why she was thinking of that
approach by explaining that Commissioner Forman has been using a system of
putting object codes on a classification of how we pay for things. Each agency
receives a budget, which is comprised of accounts, or line items, and the way
that we spend money out of these appropriations is through object classes, more
specifically object codes. Example, AA is where fulltime staff salaries come
from but then there is a sub code in there that includes base pay, overtime,
etc. They are letters randomly assigned to values. Commissioner Forman took
these letters and organized them into categories in ‘buckets’ to reduce them.
There are some discrepancies in how some entities decide to spend money. By
just pulling medical contracts we are missing a lot of the costs. In an ideal
world we would ask them to show us everywhere their medical spending, but this
is often pretty burdensome to do.
Senator Brownsberger stated that for the record Commissioner
Horgan joined at approximately 12pm.
Senator Brownsberger asked Commissioner Joy if the spending
levels are available at the facility level.
Commissioner Joy stated that it would show up easier for
Sheriffs, but for DOC on site-specific contracts, it may end up being a
proportional distribution. Essentially, Commissioner Forman has a bucket model
and Commissioner Joy proposes going a step further to make sure the codes are
being used appropriately.
Commissioner Preston stated that on the healthcare piece,
individuals might want to see a finite cost per facility, which will be almost near
impossible because the contracts will be written for the staffing levels for
the entire agency, not per facility. This is built to a staffing level and the
staffing level is through the agency and they also have to staff per facility
Senator Brownsberger asked if the personnel costs are in a
different category and whether they are associated with specific facilities.
Commissioner Preston stated that if it is a medical piece,
then the personnel from the medical company are all within the same contract.
If it is their own personnel, it will be in object code AA for regular salaries,
then will move down to shift differentials, overtime, etc. All of this comes up
in personnel HR payouts.
Commissioner Forman stated that in terms of their work they
assign personnel codes based on staff titles. It is worth doing as some titles
are pretty clear, but that is one of the things that is important to try and
Commissioner Preston noted that it is important to get it
ironed out; that we don’t want to miss anything either while someone else is
not spending in that category because it may not balance out correctly. We will
need to talk about it further to make sure we are on the right track and have
the right goals, the same goes with the programming piece as well.
Commissioner Joy stated that there should be a conversation
on what we bucket as programmatic cost. If a particular vendor is brought in
then it is clear that it is a program cost, but there might be a particular program
that someone can participate in, where we see spending for equipment brought in
for that program and is coordinated by program staff. Do we include the program
coordinator, staff salary, etc. we need to figure out what each bucket should
Senator Brownsberger indicated that the Commission would move
on to the next agenda item and go over the charge
Commissioner Widmer highlighted the third paragraph of the
charge [The study shall include…(v) expenses on programming for recidivism
reduction, including case management, reentry support, behavioral health…] and
stated that this part is pretty comprehensive and is a key central piece to the
charge, and hopes the Commission doesn’t lose sight of it.
Senator Brownsberger asked how much of this will get done
under the analysis that Commissioner Forman and Commissioner Joy are bringing
Commissioner Forman stated that this is exactly why we want
to get a better understanding on healthcare and in order to do this we will
definitely need some input and collaboration from these agencies.
Commissioner Preston stated they are happy to collaborate
and answer the questions asked. If there were a timeframe the Commission would
like to receive it by that would get the ball rolling. Commissioner Preston asked
Commissioner Forman and Joy if they would like to collaborate after the meeting
to figure out what they can come up with in the sense of format and
Senator Brownsberger stated that there is some work to be
done here but can make some reasonable allocations based on the data that we do
have and feel we can assemble. Senator Brownsberger asked the Commission for
their views regarding the staffing ratio portion of the charge (i) and stated
that that data should be readily available and asked if Commissioner Forman has
enough information regarding staffing numbers/population to which Commissioner
Forman answered yes..
Senator Brownsberger asked what the commission is thinking
for section (iv.)
Commissioner Forman asked if this was used in a previous
discussion or in the budget and that he thought we have this information
Senator Brownsberger stated that this section may be a
little bit unwieldy, but it does require a bit of data collection.
Commissioner Forman suggested that this could be a good
starting place for the survey.
Senator Brownsberger motioned back to the charge and
emphasized section (v) of paragraph two, analysis of chapter 69 acts of 2018,
and stated that this section is potentially larger than it looks, another way
of looking at this is, what is solitary confinement and what will it take to
really meet these directives. This section may need some further thought. The
Senator moved to section (vi) of the same paragraph and stated that it seems
like it was done with exception of the communications equipment, which can be expensive.
He had noticed that electrical components were included in the review, which
may be close enough. Next the Senator referred to section (vii) and asked
Commissioner Joy if the Commission had any data including all of the revenue
sources for all facilities.
Commissioner Joy stated that they have them for the DOC, but
was not sure about the sheriffs; they can write a report regarding this.
Senator Brownsberger asked if any Commissioners had any
questions regarding the charge. No questions were raised. Senator Brownsberger
suggested Friday, January 8th as the next Commission Meeting date.
Representative Day asked if this would give Commissioner
Forman and Joy enough time to go over this and pull together a potential
Commissioner Forman believes they will have significant
The Commission agreed to meet again on January 8th, with the
plan that Ben Forman and Emi Joy will provide the Commission with a proposed
The Commission voted unanimously among all those present to