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Court: No Blanket Exemption for Prison Medical Misconduct Records

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  1. Freedom of Information
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The Washington Supreme Court said the names of both witnesses and staff members who have been disciplined in prison medical misconduct investigations are public record. The 6-3 decision came in a case brought by the editor of Prison Legal News against the Department of Corrections, which argued it had a blanket “law enforcement” exemption under the Public Disclosure Act. “The burden is on DOC to prove that the records are essential to effective law enforcement,” the court said, adding, “The exemption must be construed narrowly.” (7/24/05)