Prison officials clamp down on public recordsby Dara Kam | June 25th, 2009
State prison officials are refusing to hand over videotapes of guard-on-inmate brutality or even tapes of guards taking mail from prisoners unless they are sued.
For years, Department of Corrections staff gave the tapes to the public, the media and lawyers although officials there now say they never should have.
The clamp-down on public records is chilling, civil rights advocates contend.
The shift comes under the leadership of Gov. Charlie Crist, whose first official action after taking office was to create the “Office of Open Government.”
“This whole thing of Charlie Crist saying there’s transparency in government is just BS, at least as far as the Department of Corrections,” said civil rights lawyer Randall Berg, executive director and founder of the Miami-based Florida Justice Institute.
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