After a review ordered by the governor's office, the Oregon Department of Corrections has decided to no longer provide U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials the contact information for inmates' next-of-kin.
WW first reported that a prison official had provided the address and phone number of a foreign-born inmate's family members in June.
Governor Kate Brown asked ODOC to review its policies and practices related to communications with ICE.
In an Aug. 8 memo ODOC sent to the governor's office, the agency reveals more details about why a prison official shared the next-of-kin information.
"The ODOC provided next-of-kin information to ICE at their request in the course of verifying the status of an incarcerated individual; this information exchange occurred prior to House Bill 3464 becoming law on August 15, 2017," the memo says.
HB 3464 barred state agencies from releasing many types of identifying information to assist federal immigration enforcement efforts, except when mandated by other federal or state laws.
The memo says that ICE eventually placed a detainer on the inmate.
The memo also says ICE sometimes removes detainers after ODOC provides information about an inmate's need for ongoing physical or mental health care after release. The agency says it needs to communicate with ICE so that prison officials can coordinate parole or other services after an inmate is released.
Although ODOC will continue to provide some information about inmates to ICE proactively to facilitate the release process, the memo says prison officials will no longer provide information about inmates' family members in the future.
"We will immediately cease this type of information exchange," the memo says. "This decision was made in order to avoid any potentially negative impact to family members of convicted felons and to ensure compliance with HB3464."