PA Legislator Wants to Clamp Down on Information Requests by Inmates


Inmates bombard the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections with hundreds of public information requests each year, and some state legislators want to give government the ability to flatly deny inmates' Right-to-Know requests, reports the Pennsylvania Independent. In four years, the number of inmate-filed information requests to the DOC nearly tripled, from 547 in 2009 to 1,527 in 2012.

Some of that requests seek important information about sentencing, health records or the nutritional value of prison-provided meals. But some are frivolous, including one request seeking information about the brands of underwear provided to inmates and guards. A Lebanon Republican, Rep. RoseMarie Swanger, is sponsoring a bill that would allow agencies the flatly deny Right-to-Know requests made by inmates. Some say the proposal goes too far.

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