This week in public records: District of Colombia – California

The Washington District of Colombia Police Department launched its interactive crime mapping Web site, which pinpoints major crimes by geographical region. No exact addresses are shown.

An opinion from the California Attorney General limiting information that can be released by prosecutors on arrestees will affect reporting on crime but just confirms the California Public Records Act provisions regarding release of records.

In response to a public records request, a prosecutor may not produce records from a computerized data base that disclose: (1) whether a recently charged or soon-to-be charged defendant is currently on probation or parole, and details of his or her prior offenses; (2) an individual’s criminal history in the county, including all arrests and case dispositions; (3) the disposition of matters referred to the district attorney for filing of criminal charges; (4) criminal histories associated with a requested list of cases in which a specified witness has testified; or (5) numerous criminal histories associated with a request for the names and identities of all defendants charged with a specific kind of crime over a period of years. With respect to category (3) and in rare circumstances category (1), however, a prosecutor is required to make public certain limited current information derived from records in the prosecutor’s investigatory files.

Due to changes in the Freedom of Information Law in New Jersey, it is now possible to submit a request for government agency records by email.

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