Ga. Juvenile official irked secrecy effort revealed

From The Augusta Chronicle :

ATLANTA (April 16. 2013) — Emails show that a Georgia juvenile justice official was angered by a writer’s coverage of a bill that would keep some reports of problems in juvenile lockups secret, and she worried that news coverage could derail the legislation.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution obtained several emails showing the behind-the-scenes efforts to get the bill passed. The emails were obtained under Georgia’s open records laws.


Hollie Manheimer, executive director of the Georgia First Amendment Foundation, expressed concerns about the legislation in a letter to state Rep. Tom Weldon, R-Ringgold. Manheimer said there were good reasons for withholding the names of juveniles, but classifying all the other information as state secrets is a bad idea.

“Closing off the information from public consumption and review only makes the problems of the juveniles and children worse,” Manheimer said. “We can’t fix the problem if we don’t know about it.”

The Georgia First Amendment Foundation is a member of NFOIC. –eds