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Secretary Of Corrections And Parole Commission Chairman Can Release Statutorily Protected Prisoners' Records

Larry Justus of the General Assembly and Parole Commission Chairman (Chairman) Juanita Baker probed the North Carolina Attorney General's Office (AG) for protocol regarding the authority and release of parolee records. The AG instructed them that the Chairman and the Secretary of the Department of Corrections (Secretary) have the production authority provided that the disclosure is essential to maintaining the integrity of the Commission or the quality of services the agency provides.

Under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 148 76 (1994) all filed prisoner information can be "made available to law enforcement agencies, courts, correctional agencies, or other officials requiring criminal identification, crime statistics, and other information respecting crime and criminals." The AG concluded that although as a general rule, and as per the North Carolina Supreme Court rulings, "prison records of inmates are confidential and not subject to inspection by the public nor the inmate concerned," the above stated exceptions are appropriate and that federal decisions parallel this finding. The AG added that the Secretary possessed additional authority of disclosure over the commission. See: In re Office of the Attorney General of the State of North Carolina, 1996 N.C. AG Lexis 26, April 24, 1996.

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Related legal case

In re Office of the Attorney General of the State of North Carolina