Senate Bill 69 seeks to obscure allegations of improper conduct by officials in the juvenile justice system from public view. When a child complains about abuse inside a detention facility, that report is currently available to open records requests or similar means. But SB 69’s language would conceal those reports from the public under the guise of protecting the informant from gang violence. Or something. But the language says something different. And it forced Jim Walls, intrepid reporter and public watchdog of Atlanta Unfiltered, to go from observer to subcommittee testifier in an attempt to shed some light on a bill seeks to do the opposite.
From his excellent post:
I stumbled across this bill by accident, having shown up at today’s subcommittee hearing just to take pictures of its members. Within half an hour, I was testifying about the bill — certainly a first for me in 40 years of news gathering. But my experience a year ago in reporting a couple stories about alleged DJJ wrongdoing for the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, I thought, might help the lawmakers decide how to proceed.
SB 69 cleared the Senate with nary a nay, but looks like it could use a friendly amendment to get it back on track to attack it’s stated goal: preventing gang violence.