Traffickers in Prison

SWOP Behind Bars (SBB) filed this request with the Department of Corrections of Pennsylvania.
Est. Completion None


From: Melanie Dante

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to Pennsylvania Right to Know Act, I hereby request the following records:

Sentences pertaining to trafficking in the state of Pennsylvania 2012-2015

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 5 business days, as the statute requires.


Melanie Dante

From: Filkosky, Andrew

Dear Ms. Dante,

This response acknowledges receipt by the Department of Corrections of your written request for records under the Pennsylvania Right-to-Know Law (RTKL). Your request was received by this office on May 9, 2016.

Your request for "Sentences pertaining to trafficking in the state of Pennsylvania 2012-2015" is denied for the following reason:

* Your request fails to identify or describe the records that you seek with sufficient specificity to enable the RTKL Office to ascertain which records that you seek. Consequently, your request is denied pursuant to 65 P.S. § 67.703.

Your request contains no limitation with regard to subject matter. This request does not provide sufficient descriptive information in any or all of the categories noted by the Office of Open Records in Hocker v. Young Scholars, OOR Dkt. AP 2009-0901, to enable the Department to determine what information is sought and to locate responsive records. Under both laws, Pennsylvania's courts have consistently held that insufficiently specific requests can be properly denied. See, Anderson v. City of Philadelphia, OOR Docket # 2009-0618 (9/25/09); Nanayakkara v. Casella, 681 A.2d 857, 859-60 (Pa.Cmwlth. 1996); Associated Builders & Contractors, Inc., v. Pennsylvania Department of General Services, 747 A.2d 962 (Pa.Cmwlth. 2000).

Further, many of the possible records may be exempt for the following reason:

* The record(s) that you requested do not currently exist. When responding to a request for access, an agency is not required to create a record which does not currently exist or to compile, format or organize a public record in a manner in which it does not currently compile, format or organize the public record. 65 P.S. § 67.705; See Moore v. Office of Open Records, 992 A.2d 907, 909 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2010)("The Department cannot grant access to a record that does not exist. Because under the current RTKL the Department cannot be made to create a record which does not exist, the OOR properly denied [the] ... appeal."); See also Bargeron v. Department of Labor and Industry, 720 A.2d 500 (Pa.Cmwlth. 1998).

You are not precluded from refining and submitting a new request with more specific detail.

You have a right to appeal this denial of information in writing to the Executive Director, Office of Open Records (OOR), Commonwealth Keystone Building, 400 North Street, 4th Floor, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17120. If you choose to file an appeal you must do so within 15 business days of the mailing date of this response and send to the OOR:

1) this response; 2) your request; and 3) the reason why you think the agency is wrong in its reasons for saying that the record is not public (a statement that addresses any ground stated by the agency for the denial). If the agency gave several reasons why the record is not public, state which ones you think were wrong.

Also, the OOR has an appeal form available on the OOR website at:


Andrew Filkosky | Agency Open Records Officer
Department of Corrections | Office of Chief Counsel
1920 Technology Parkway
Mechanicsburg, PA 17050
Phone: 717.728.7770 | Fax: 717.728.0312<>

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From: Melanie Dante

Interesting that prostitution is public record, though trafficking is denied.

That right there answers part of my query.

From: Melanie Dante

Thank you for your time. This request was a research demo and met the needs of the sample. MGD

From: Melanie Dante

Thank you for your time. This request was a research demo and met the needs of the sample. MGD