Public records aficionados know they’re in for a waiting game - requests can take weeks or years to get a response. In a 24-hour news cycle, how are last week’s documents still relevant?
Recent reports of solitary’s harmful effects have helped bolster cases in multiple states where the capitally-condemned await their fates.
Sometimes the most direct way to get the answers you want is through a rejection, and sometimes it’s through another agency entirely. In this week’s FOIA roundup, some great examples of creative and persistent requesting that overcame the odds to expose public scrutiny in hard-to-reach places. Plus, FOIA comedy.
As a little experiment in transparency, MuckRock set out to file for pet licensing data for the most populous city in each state. The response from Jacksonville, Florida will have you wondering whether or not the state statutes are really protecting their citizen’s privacy, or - the more logical conclusion - serving the whims of their cat overlords.
Private prisons face many of the same obstacles as their public counterparts: drugs, violence, rowdy inmates or rowdy correctional officers. But their operations and how they manage these ubiquitous issues remain a black spot on the corrections ecosystem.