1999 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Smith
Senate Bill 2272
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 25-61-5, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT INCARCERATED INMATES DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO ACCESS PUBLIC RECORDS EXCEPT THOSE RECORDS RELATING TO THE INMATE'S HEALTH OR THE INMATE'S DEFENSE IN CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 25-61-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-61-5. (1) Except as otherwise provided by Sections 25-61-9 and 25-61-11, all public records are hereby declared to be public property, and any person shall have the right to inspect, copy or mechanically reproduce or obtain a reproduction of any public record of a public body in accordance with reasonable written procedures adopted by the public body concerning the cost, time, place and method of access, and public notice of the procedures shall be given by the public body, or, in the event that a public body has not adopted such written procedures, the right to inspect, copy or mechanically reproduce or obtain a reproduction of a public record of the public body shall be provided within one (1) working day after a written request for a public record is made. No public body shall adopt procedures which will authorize the public body to produce or deny production of a public record later than fourteen (14) working days from the date of request for the production of such record.
(2) Denial by a public body of a request for access to or copies of public records under this chapter shall be in writing and shall contain a statement of the specific reasons for the denial. Each public body shall maintain a file of all denials of requests for public records. Public bodies shall be required to preserve such denials on file for not less than three (3) years from the date such denials are made. This file shall be made available for inspection and/or copying during regular office hours to any person upon written request.
(3) This section shall not be construed to convey any right to a person incarcerated in a local, state, federal or private correctional facility. This subsection shall not be construed to prevent an incarcerated person from exercising his constitutionally protected rights related to his criminal case or from accessing records related to the incarcerated person's health.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1999.