January 25, 2001
The staff of the Committee on Open Government is authorized to issue advisory opinions. The
ensuing staff advisory opinion is based solely upon the facts presented in your correspondence.
I have received your letter in which you sought assistance in expunging what you believe to
be "false, inaccurate and misleading information [in your] prison records."
In this regard, the Freedom of Information Law is silent with respect to the ability to amend
or correct records that may contain inaccurate information. However, §5.50 of the regulations
promulgated by the Department of Correctional Services states that:
"If the completeness or accuracy of any item of information contained
in the personal history or correctional supervision history portion of
an inmate's record is disputed by the inmate, the inmate shall convey
such dispute to the custodian of the record or the designee of the
custodian reviewing the record with him. The inmate may obtain a
copy of any record that contains information the accuracy or
completeness of which the inmate disputes. The fee for copies shall
be in accordance with section 5.36 of this Part."
Section 5.5 of the regulations define "correctional supervision history" means:
"...records constituting disciplinary charges and dispositions, good
behavior allowance reports, warrants and cancellations of warrants,
legal papers, court orders, transportation orders, records of
institutional transfers and changes in program assignments, reports of
injury to inmates and records relating to inmate property including the
personal property lists and postage account card."
The same provision defines "personal history" as follows:
"....records consisting of inmate name, age, birthdate, birthplace, city
of previous residence, physical description, occupation, correctional
facilities in which the inmate has been incarcerated, commitment
information and departmental actions regarding confinement and
Based on the foregoing, the ability to attempt to correct records maintained by your facility
is somewhat limited. I note that the regulations promulgated by the Division of Criminal Justice
Services authorize individuals to attempt to correct criminal history records that may be inaccurate,
and it is suggested that you contact that agency.
I hope that I have been of assistance.
Robert J. Freeman
cc: C. Jacobsen