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New Mexico AG Comments on Disclosability of Prisoners' Penitentiary Files

Howell Gage, Superintendent of the New Mexico State Penitentiary, asked the state Attorney General (AG) to opine as to the disclosability of prisoners' records at the penitentiary. In his opinion, the AG considered authorities from other jurisdictions because New Mexico had no laws governing disclosure of public records.

The AG determined that prison authorities needed the information at issue to effectively discharge their penal duties, and that if such records were made available to the public their ability to get people to provide such information would be stymied. On that basis, according to the law of other jurisdictions, the AG concluded that the prisoners' files were exempt from disclosure. See: Opinion No. 4823, 1945 N.M. Op. Atty. Gen. N.M. 160 (1945).

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