Judge orders prison staffing numbers to be made public

MGN Online

The ruling came in an ongoing lawsuit over mental health care in Alabama prisons.

Posted: Jan 2, 2019 3:34 PM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - A federal judge has ordered that prison staffing numbers should be available to the public.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson on Wednesday ruled that quarterly staffing reports submitted to the court should be unsealed. However, Thompson said the release of prison-specific data would be delayed for five months because of security concerns.

Thompson wrote that there is some degree of risk in publishing correctional officer numbers for each prison but it "is not significant enough to overcome the strong interest in public disclosure of the information."

The ruling came in an ongoing lawsuit over mental health care in Alabama prisons. Attorneys for inmates sought to have the reports unsealed.

Thompson in 2017 ruled that care was "horrendously inadequate" and said that staffing shortages are a significant factor.

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