Idaho prison leaders tighten public record exemptions

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Idaho Board of Correction has tightened and clarified some restrictions on what documents can be released under the Idaho Public Records Act, including security camera information and inmate visitor logs.

IDOC Director Josh Tewalt said the effort was needed so that the department's longstanding policy of denying public record requests for the number and location of security cameras would be in writing, preventing any differing interpretations.

Tewalt also recommended that the board include security camera footage in the exemptions, saying that IDOC policy is to deny all requests for that footage as well.

But board members Dodds Hayden and David McClusky stopped short of including the footage in their motion to expand the exemptions, instead focusing on camera locations, inmate trust accounts and some other documents.

Security camera footage from Idaho's prisons has occasionally been at the center of major breaking news stories, sometimes leading to government efforts to improve prison operations.

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