3/9/2010 Newsletter

Contents:

  • Stand Up Against Bill to Eliminate Access to Complaint Data
  • Courtwatch: Police Complaints Case Oral Arguments

URGENT ACTION NEEDED: BILL WOULD ELIMINATE ACCESS TO COMPLAINT DATA

HEARING TOMORROW!
House Civil Justice Committee Meeting
Wednesday, March 10
10 State Office Building
State Capitol Complex, St. Paul
Meeting lasts from 8:30 a.m., will reconvene at 6 p.m. to finish agenda (this item is near the end of the agenda)

HF2609 would eliminate access to information about complaints against staff at secure treatment facilities and state correctional facilities (prisons), effectively wiping out access to the complaint histories of prison guards.  This is one step away from wiping out access to complaints against cops. 

CUAPB is 100% against this law and any others like it.  In addition to taking on complaints against cops, we take on complaints dealing with mistreatment at the jails and prisons, which is even harder to deal with because there is no agency to file a complaint about brutal jailers and these cases are even harder to fight.  The community must have access to the complaint history of jailers.

To put this in context, anyone can get the complaint history of a teacher, worker at the state tax office, etc.  Why should jailers be any different.

Please try to attend this meeting and be prepared to speak out against this terrible bill.  It's uncertain what time the bill will be heard but given the length of the agenda (http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/comm/committee.asp?comm=86128 and scroll down on the right), it's pretty safe that you could get there about 2 p.m., maybe later, and not miss it.  If you're not able to attend, please call the legislators listed on the committee web page and tell them to vote NO to HF2609.


HF2609 (Thissen) Disclosure of disciplinary records limited.

http://wdoc.house.leg.state.mn.us/leg/LS86/HF2609.0.pdf

 Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 13.43, subdivision 5a, is amended to read:
1.6    Subd. 5a. Limitation on disclosure of certain personnel data. Notwithstanding
1.7any other provision of this section, the following data relating to employees of a secure
1.8treatment facility defined in section 253B.02, subdivision 18a, employees of a state
1.9correctional facility, or employees of the Department of Corrections directly involved in
1.10supervision of offenders in the community, shall not be disclosed to facility patients,
1.11corrections inmates, or other individuals who facility or correction administrators
1.12reasonably believe will use the information to harass, intimidate, or assault any of
1.13these employees: place where previous education or training occurred; place of prior
1.14employment; existence and status of any complaints or charges against the employee,
1.15regardless of whether the complaint or charge resulted in disciplinary action; final
1.16disposition of any disciplinary action together with the specific reasons for the action and
1.17data documenting the basis of the action; and payroll timesheets or other comparable data,
1.18to the extent that disclosure of payroll timesheets or other comparable data may disclose
1.19future work assignments, home address or telephone number, the location of an employee
1.20during nonwork hours, or the location of an employee's immediate family members.


ANOTHER SHOT AT ENSURING ACCESS TO COMPLAINTS

Police Complaints Case Oral Arguments
Wednesday, April 7 at 9:30 a.m.
Judicial Center (building just east of the Capitol)
25 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, St. Paul


About two years ago, the city of Minneapolis started interpreting the Data Practice laws in a new and interesting way that made complaints about police almost impossible to access.  CUAPB took the city to court and the initial judge gave a terrible ruling--so bad that both the city and CUAPB have appealed.  The state appeals court will hear oral arguments on our case on Wednesday, April 7th at 9:30 a.m.  This is bound to be a fascinating case.  This hearing is open to the public so make your plans to attend.


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