ECCC Advisory Board
Meeting #3 March 22, 2011
Meeting was called to order by Chair Dr. Cummings at 9:17
Pledge of Allegiance
Chair Michael Cummings
(Charles Culhane joined the meeting at 9:25)
Motion to approve minutes of Meeting Number 2 – Motion made by Michael Lex Seconded by Rev. Pierce – unanimously approved
Chair updated the Committee on events in the Legislature pertaining to the ECCC Advisory Board. Spoke of the resolution that passed that adds 3 members – one a member of the Bar Association to replace the Member recommended by Assigned Counsel, one to be recommended by the Hispanic Community and one by Public Safety
Chair asked Leg. Bove to clarify timeline – she indicated letters due to clerk by April 15 she confirmed that she hopes members will be interviewed and voted upon by the Legislature as soon as possible after the submission of the letters
Nan Haynes remarked that the Board recommended Hispanics United and the Legislature approved a resolution for a member of the Hispanic Community – Leg. Bove said she would check the notes on this matter.
Chair remarked that he believed the Board would have a full 15 sometime in May.
Chair spoke of resolution by Chair Miller-Williams regarding researching the correctional facilites partnering with an FQHC to reduce the cost of prescription drugs using 340B prescription drug program. Chair gave an explanation of an FQHC and the possibilities of a partnership. Talked about fact that the Board of an FQHC must be made up of 51% of the community it represents. Spoke of the cost of prescription medications for mental illnesses costing up to $800/mth.
(Charles Culhane joined meeting at this point in the discussion)
Chair commented that you can obtain details of 340B program on Medicaid website
Chair asked Rev. Pierce to discuss the changes in bylaws that the committee worked on last week.
Rev. Pierce indicated that he and Cheryl Green met last Friday to review the draft of the bylaws. Copies were handed out to members and guests that include the changes.
- Article II, last paragraph regarding receiving complaints, changed the word “public” to “interested parties”. This would include staff at the correctional facilities.
- Article III, added one member by Hispanic Community, will add one by Bar Association and one by Public Safety Committee.
- Numbers were changed throughout to increase number of members to 15 and increase quorum to 8
- Art III Sec 2 increase to 5 members serving 3 year terms
Sub-committee will send changes to Clerk and the Clerk will send to full committee. If there are no changes then Chair suggested we adopt bylaws at next meeting.
Rev. Pierce noted in Article V that a discussion is needed about open meetings.
Nan Haynes handed out section of the public officers law noting need for notification of public meetings.
Michael Lex asked if posting on website is sufficient
Nan Haynes noted that using the County Legislature site to notify is a valid form of notification – request that a page be provided by the Legislature on their website for the Committee to be used for notification and posting of minutes. Ms. Haynes noted that we would also need posting in designated locations.
Chair said he believed that it would need further discussion and understanding.
Mr. Lex also noted that bulletin boards is a way to post meeting notices. Karima Amin thought that was not enough notification – need posting or listing at the jail or library. Mr. Culhane concurred. Ms. Amin noted that there needed to be additional posting for those that don’t have internet access.
Majority Counsel noted that there are legal postings and notification of the media of these meetings – including posting on board at Old County Hall. That meets the minimum requirements of the public officers law.
Chair suggested we add this issue to the agenda for the next meeting.
Ms. Haynes pointed out that Art II Sec. 1, final paragraph – complaints are to be given to Sheriff Dept and she suggested that the Committee also gets copies of the complaints for discussion within the committee.
Ms. Haynes asked if it would be proper to make a motion to include the issue noted above in bylaws, Mr. Lex and the Chair asked that suggestions be given to committee but that a motion might be premature.
Chair asked for clarification of request to speak before committee – Majority Counsel confirmed that the request must be made to Clerk of Legislature 5 days prior to meeting.
Ms. Amin noted that items would be considered at next meeting, her hope is that more members will attend meeting and that issues will be voted on and moved forward. Suggested that possibly a statement from the Chair or another member might be appropriate regarding attendance and moving issues in a timely manner.
Chair concurred and noted that he would like as much input from committee members as as many as possible to be present to consider and vote on bylaws.
Mr. Lex requested that committee members each receive a copy of the report from DOJ regarding the holding center to look over and consider.
Chair asked if there were any legal or administrative reasons not to release the report.
Ms. Haynes noted that the report prior to the lawsuit is a public document and is available. Ms. Haynes said she has a PDF copy of the report and will send to the clerk to disseminate to the members of the Committee.
Ms. Amin asked if there is a report from the Commissioner of Corrections. Ms. Haynes made a FOIL request for all reports over the last year, when she gets these reports she will disseminate to committee.
Chair requested that these reports be disseminated through the regular chain of protocol in order to not create any legal conflicts.
Ms. Amin asked if the reports are available – Mr. Koch responded they are directed to the Sheriff, he will discuss with Sheriff if they can be distributed to committee.
Rev. Pierce noted that he has copies up to one year ago that he would be able to provide to committee members. Committee members expressed they would like to receive the more recent reports.
Chair asked if there was any other new business
Rev. Pierce noted he has a copy of the minimum standards as of Jan. 1, 2008. Noted there are changes since that time. Thought it was appropriate that each Committee Member have a copy of the latest minimum standards – recommended that the request be made to the Dept. of Corrections.
Mr. Koch indicated they are available online.
Rev. Pierce asked that a copy be made available to all board members as a part of their binder.
Rev. Pierce noted a correlation between complaints of inmates and also officers on such issues as lack of mental health support and lack of air circulation/ventilation. Officers subjected to unhealthy conditions. Also lack of welfare/rehabilitation programs. Officers and inmates complain of lack of adequate supplies such as toilet paper. This creates a stress with both staff and inmates.
Chair pointed out that at the last meeting there was a discussion of having more representation on Committee of staff at the holding center and possibly recommending to Public Safety committee that the choice they have for the Board be a staff member at the correctional facilities.
Chair clarified for Mr. Culhane the three additional members to be added by the Legislature to the Committee. Discussion of letter from Black Leadership Forum regarding a position on the Board requesting they be a member of the Black Leadership Forum (letter distributed to committee members).
Rev. Pierce asked if Mr. Colon could address committee today, Chair pointed out that he needed to make the request five days prior to meeting and had not done so therefore he will be not allowed to address Committee at this meeting.
Rev. Pierce asked for clarification on the standing of the bylaws subcommittee. Chair and Majority Counsel concurred that subcommittee stood.
Michael Lex made a motion to adjourn , Rev. Pierce seconded – motion passed unanimously.
Next Meeting April 12th at 1:00pm
Meeting adjourned at 10:09 am