Jean Dickson’s FOIL Request to Erie County Sheriff’s Office and Reply

March 28, 2017

Erie County Sheriff’s Office
FOIL Request
Attention: Chief John W. Greenan
10 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14201

Dear Sir:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL), Article 6 of the Public Officers Law.  I will pay any reasonable fee incurred in connection with the processing of this request.

I hearby request all records from the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, the Erie County Holding Center, and the Erie County Correctional Facility pertaining to the deaths by suicide or other forms of violence of inmates in either facility during the years 2005 to the present (2017), including names and dates, including those who died in hospitals or elsewhere as a direct result of such violence.

Section 3 of Article 89 of the Freedom of Information Law requires that an agency shall “within five business days of receipt of a written request reasonable described, make such record available tot he person requesting it, deny such request in writing, or furnish a written acknowledgment of the receipt of such request and a statement of the approximate date when such request will be granted or denied.”  Accordingly, I request a response as soon as possible and look forward to hearing from you within the time specified by law.

If there are any fees for copying the records requested, please supply the records if the costs do not exceed $50.  If few exceed $50, I reserve the right to review the documents that respond to the request in person so that I may select only those documents that I want photocopied.

If any portion of my request is denied, please inform me in writing of the reason(s) you believe the records are exempt from disclosure and provide the name and address of the person or department to whom an appeal should be directed.


Jean Dickson

The Sheriff’s response to Jean Dickson’s FOIL request.

Date: Mon, Jun 5, 2017 at 10:43 AM
Subject: Suicides and attempts
To: Jean Dickson

Pursuant to your FOIL request please find an excel spreadsheet detailing the number of suicides and attempts at the ECSO.  After consultation with the County Attorney’s Office it was determined that releasing incident reports detailing suicides or attempts would be an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy of the inmate.

It should also be noted that pursuant to the New York State Retention Schedule, indecent reports are maintained for a period of only 6 years.


Year Suicides Attempted Suicides
2005 2 2
2006 0 4
2007 2 10
2008 0 15
2009 1 13
2010 3 7
2011 2 4
2012 1 1
2013 0 0
2014 1 1
2015 0 4
2016 0 0
2017 0 2