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Politics / Issues

ACLU Battles Corrections Agency On Public Records

Gavel and sign saying Public Records
Creative Commons - Alpha Stock Images

Seeking information as part of an effort to address “over-incarceration,” the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida has asked a judge to require the state Department of Corrections to provide access to records about issues such as tentative release dates and demographic information of inmates.

The ACLU filed a lawsuit last week in Leon County circuit court after submitting a public-records request last month with the department. The lawsuit said the organization wants an “extract” of information held in at least one department database but that the agency had not provided access.

“The ACLU’s request does not require the creation of a new record,” the lawsuit said. “The FDOC’s databases already exist. The ACLU’s request does not require the reorganization of a record. FDOC’s databases have no inherent organization; a user must decide what and how the information is presented. The ACLU simply requests meaningful access to public information.”

The organization said in the lawsuit it is seeking the information as part of an effort to pass legislation that would decrease certain prison terms.