The First Step Act was touted as beginning a reversal of decades of tough-on-crime policies. But just hours after the bill was signed by President Trump, the federal government began a shutdown of “nonessential” government operations. Now more than a month later, the shutdown has stopped efforts by the federal government to meet the new law’s first deadline - the selection of a team who will help implement a tool to assess risk and needs.
This week’s FOIA round-up: The Shutdown’s impact on immigration court, records show environmental agency pushed for prosecution of No More Deaths activists, and the NYPD holds on to protest photos
For this week’s FOIA round-up, a new report shows over 40,000 immigration hearings have been cancelled due to the government shutdown, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service pushed to have activists providing migrants with water prosecuted on environmental grounds, and recently released photos reveal that the New York Police Department might be in violation of its guidelines on protest surveillance.
A little more than a month after MuckRock launched The Secret Scandals of the Trump Administration project, we’ve submitted dozens of FOIA requests, and received a handful of excellent tips from our readers. A number of these tips have been especially helpful: we’ve even heard from former government employees with first-hand knowledge of potential scandals in some government agencies.
The new year is in full-swing, and public records advocates are getting ready for another year of FOIA and state records law fun. The end of the year usually marks an eventful time full of joy, rest, and relaxation. Yet some jurisdictions decided to make some changes at the eleventh hour, both for the better and the worse. But don’t worry, we compiled a list of FOIA related changes that happened over the holidays so you don’t miss a thing.
We’re excited to announce that MuckRock is relaunching our Trump-focused FOIA project, rebranding it as “The Secret Scandals of the Trump Administration.” We’ll focus on the administration’s lesser known, but no less dangerous actions, which all too often escape media scrutiny.