Prisons run by Nashville-based Corrections Corporation of America perform a government function and must follow public records laws, the Tennessee Court of Appeals has ruled.More here.
The prison giant appealed the ruling issued last year by Davidson County Chancellor Claudia Bonnyman, who ruled that the corporation was the functional equivalent of government and that its administrators must turn over all records requested by prison reform advocate Alex Friedmann.
Friedmann, the associate editor of the monthly publication Prison Legal News, sued for access to several types of records, including CCA's government
contracts, legal settlements and cases where CCA was sanctioned or fined.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Prison corporation subject to public records laws
The Tennessee Court of Appeals ruled that prisons run by Nashville-based Corrections Corporation of America must adhere to public records laws, The Tennessean reported. Alex Friedmann, associate editor of Prison Legal News, sued for access to the CCA's government contracts and other records. "With all due respect to CCA, this court is at a loss as to how operating a prison could be considered anything less than a governmental function," Judge D. Michael Swiney wrote in the opinion. However, the court ruled that the Private Prison Contracting Act limits the records that the corporation must make public.