The Detroit Free Press Weighs in With a Massive FOI Project

Parole long has been a rich area of investigative reporting. Few outlets have gone to the lengths the Detroit Free Press went to in this GREAT FOI-driven series! Kudos to the reporters and editors who toiled on this important series and to the newspaper’s editorial board, who have been hammering away at the state for its lax oversight of criminals released with little or no supervision…

See the whole project here. It’s a must read for anyone interested in seeing some of the best reporting on the subject ever — and for FOI junkies interested in the knockdown, dragout battles to obtain the information that built the series.

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Great FOI Idea: Correctional Discipline Reports…

The Associated Press popped a nice FOI-driven story today:

Corrections officials in Arkansas fired dozens of employees this year for indiscretions ranging from failed drug tests to sleeping on the job, documents obtained by The Associated Press show.

The latest batch of disciplinary actions, obtained under a Freedom of Information request, reveal that as the prison population has doubled in the past two decades to more than 16,000 inmates, the state has struggled to find the right people to work with its criminals.

Many people who would be qualified applicants for jobs at the state’s 20 correctional facilities simply don’t want to work there. And out of the diminished pool of candidates, there’s a 27 percent turnover rate among the prisons’ security staff — nearly double the latest national average compiled by the American Correctional Association.