Peoria County Sheriff talks on inmates’ FOIA requests

Nov 4, 2013

Peoria County Sheriff Mike McCoy says he wants to change how some inmates receive Freedom of Information Act requests. Peoria Public Radio’s Alex Rusciano reports:

 Sheriff Mike McCoy says he supports the right of inmates to request information through the federal act. But he says some people in jail make multiple requests, to find out who else is incarcerated, or just to weigh-down staff with processing requests:

 “When you’re getting 15 a day and three or four of them are from the same person, it seems to us to be pretty obvious that it’s an antagonistic attack on us and our time, and not really something that’s going to pay attention to them. Because some of the requests have nothing to do with their cases, some of the requests have nothing to do with them personally, just that they want to know and just to make us copy it, they know it would be a long case,” McCoy says. 

 McCoy says his office is looking to limit the number of pieces of paper an inmate can have in a cell at one time. He says another possibility is to process Freedom of Information Requests, but only give them to an inmate when they are released. McCoy says there are two staff members trained to respond to requests, but they are not full-time FOIA officers.