June 30, 2015
Secretary of Public Safety Daniel Bennett today announced a reformed security procedure regarding access by attorneys to clients held in Department of Correction facilities in Massachusetts.
Bennett says the new regulations are effective immediately, and are designed to strike an improved balance between prison security and personal privacy.
“The changes we have made to Department of Correction security procedures recognize the critical role that attorneys play in our justice system, the importance of access by attorneys to their clients, and the paramount need to keep correction staff and inmates safe,” said Secretary Bennett. “I would like to thank the Massachusetts Bar Association and the Committee for Public Counsel Services for their thoughtful input.”
“The new policy indicates that the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security has made this issue a priority and the new procedures ensure the personal privacy of attorneys while also affording DOC staff assurance of their safety,” said Marsha V. Kazarosian, president of the Massachusetts Bar Association.
Under the new policy, subsequent to a metal detector indicating the presence of a metal object, correction officers cannot subject an attorney to a pat down search unless other factors suggest the presence of contraband, the attorney consents, and prior approval is given by a superior officer. An attorney who does not consent to a further search will nevertheless be granted a non-contact visit with his or her client.