Process for Attorneys Contacting Clients During COVID-19 Pandemic

PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THE HCSD DOES NOT PROHIBIT ATTORNEY VISITS DURING THIS PANDEMIC.  IN-PERSON ATTORNEY VISITS DO REQUIRE A BRIEF MEDICAL SCREENING AND ATTORNEYS MUST WEAR MASKS. CLIENTS WILL HAVE MASKS ON AS WELL.

For those attorneys who do not wish to visit their clients at our facilities, we have a process in place.  Please direct all requests to arrange to speak with your clients at Ludlow or Chicopee facilities to: AttorneyContact@sdh.state.ma.us

Please provide them with your client’s name, D.O.B, and person number if you have it. They will get back to you by email with times that you can expect a call from your clients. We have limited staff right now due to the Governor’s order regarding non-essential employees.  Please be patient.  Our staff will do the best that they can in getting back to you in a timely manner. 

A few important things to know to ensure the smooth operation of this process and that you will be able to maintain confidentiality with your clients:

  1.  It is the responsibility of the attorney and the client to ensure that the client has included the correct attorney phone number on his/her list of privileged phone calls.  With some attorneys working from home, they may be using different phone numbers.  Please ensure your client has the correct phone number for you.
  2. It is best to have your clients contact you from the housing unit phones on the housing units as opposed to using a counselor’s phone. Neither would be recorded, but more privacy and time for the phone call will be afforded to your clients if they use the housing unit phones.  If they need to use a counselor’s phone, time is limited as they cannot have their phones tied up for large periods of time.  Additionally, those calls have to occur with the staff member either in the office or in the doorway for security reasons.
  3. Please make every effort to send your emails prior to 3 p.m. so that the call times can be set up for you on the day requested. If you know you are covering arraignments on Monday morning, please try to reach your clients over the weekend if possible so as to ensure you can speak with them prior to the proceeding.
  4. If you have special circumstances that you believe require a different type of arrangement than what is in place currently, please feel free to reach out.
  5. As you are all aware, these are challenging times for all of us, but please try to communicate by email as described above unless it is necessary to make a phone call to the staff. We are very shorthanded and our staff is trying to be as responsive as possible.  If you have concerns about not being able to communicate with your clients, please contact HCSD Attorney Theresa Finnegan via email.  As always, everything is changing and evolving and we will continue to keep you advised of those changes.

Thank you for your patience as we all navigate these highly unusual and difficult times.