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NOTICE OF INTENT

Department of Public Safety and Corrections

Office of Corrections Services

Access to and Release of Active and Inactive Offender Records (LAC 22:I.101)

The Department of Public Safety and Corrections, Corrections Services, amends in its entirety LAC 22:I.101, Access to and Release of Active and Inactive Offender Records, as authorized by R.S. 36:404 and pursuant to Act 251 of the 2008 Regular Session.

Title 22

CORRECTIONS, CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND LAW ENFORCEMENT

Part I.  Corrections

Chapter 1.Secretary's Office

§101.Access to and Release of Active and Inactive Offender Records

A.Purpose. To establish the secretary's policy and procedures for access to and release of active and inactive offender records.

B.Applicability. Deputy Secretary, Chief of Operations, Undersecretary, Assistant Secretary, Regional Wardens, Wardens, Director of Probation and Parole and Director of Prison Enterprises. Each unit head is responsible for ensuring that appropriate unit written policy and procedures are in place to comply with the provisions of this regulation and for conveying its contents to all affected persons.

C.Definitions

Law Enforcement Agencies—those agencies designed to enforce federal, state or municipal laws and who receive public funds as their primary source for operation, i.e. sheriffs’ offices, local and state police departments, departments of corrections, U.S. attorneys, district attorneys and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI.)
Offender/Ex-Offender—anyone in the physical custody of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections or under the supervision of the Division of Probation and Parole. For the purpose of this regulation, ex-offenders are those offenders who are no longer in the physical custody of the DPS and C or no longer under the supervision of the Division of Probation and Parole.

D.Release of Information and Records

1.The presentence investigation report, the pre-parole report, the clemency report, the information and data gathered by the staffs of the Board of Pardons and Board of Parole, the prison record, and any other information obtained by the boards or the department, in the discharge of official duties, shall be confidential and shall not be subject to public inspection nor be disclosed directly or indirectly to anyone except as in accordance with this regulation.
2.All information pertaining to an offender's misconduct while incarcerated, statistical information, information pertaining to disposition of criminal charges and incarcerations, and information of a general nature including an individual's age, offense, date of conviction, length of sentence, any correspondence by a public official which requests, or may be determined to be in support of, or
in opposition to, the parole or pardon of an offender, and discharge date shall be released to the general public at any time upon request.

Note: This provision shall not apply to any public official correspondence which requests, or may be determined to be in support of, or in opposition to, the parole or pardon of an offender which was received prior to August 15, 1997.

3.Except as noted below, any communication with the Board of Parole or Board of Pardons urging parole, pardon, clemency, or commutation of sentence or otherwise regarding an offender shall be deemed a public record and subject to public inspection.

EXCEPTION: Any letter written by, or on behalf of, any victim of a crime committed by an offender under consideration for parole, pardon, clemency, or commutation of sentence, or any letter written in opposition to parole, pardon, clemency, or commutation of sentence shall be confidential and shall not be deemed a public record and subject to public inspection.

This exception shall not apply to letters written by any elected or appointed public official, i.e. these letters are not confidential and may be released in accordance with Section D.2.

4.Information on a particular offender may be released without special authorization, subject to other restrictions that may be imposed by federal law or by other provisions of state law, to the following:
a.Board of Parole;
b.Board of Pardons;
c.governor;
d.sentencing judge;
e.district attorneys;
f.law enforcement agencies;
g.Department of Public Safety and Corrections personnel, including legal representatives and student workers;
h.appropriate governmental agencies or public officials, when access to such information is imperative for the discharge of the responsibilities of the requesting agency, official, or court officer and the information is not reasonably available through any other means; and
i.court officers with court orders specifying the information requested.
5.Fingerprints, photographs, and information pertaining to arrests and disposition of criminal charges, as well as information regarding escapes may be released to law enforcement agencies without special authorization.
6.The unit head or designee may approve the reading (but not copying) of confidential information by the following:
a.social service agencies assisting in the treatment of the offender or ex-offender; or
b.approved researchers who have guaranteed in writing anonymity of all subjects.

NOTE:  The offender or ex-offender must give written consent to release the information.

7.The unit head or designee may approve the selective reading (but not copying) of information by a private citizen or organization aiding in the rehabilitation of, or directly involved in the hiring of, the offender or ex-offender under the following conditions:
a.It appears that the withholding of the information would be to the offender’s or ex-offender’s disadvantage;
b.The requested information is necessary to further the rehabilitation or the likelihood of hiring the offender or ex-offender;

Louisiana Register   Vol. 34, No. 10   October 20, 2008

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