ERIC Number: ED161043
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Adult Individual Criminal Records and the News Media: Inherent Problems for Access and Privacy.
Wright, Jay B.
Public access to criminal records, facilitated by the use of computerized information storage and retrieval systems, sometimes appears to infringe on individual rights of privacy. Examples may be cited to show that the records compiled on individuals do not always present an accurate picture, due to factual inaccuracies, incomplete information, or problems created by examining information out of context. Policies regarding access to criminal records may be affected by whether the record is formal or informal, separate or mixed with confidential information, current or noncurrent, original or secondary, related to convictions or nonconvictions, sealed or open, or expunged by court order or still in existence. Government officials' behavior in granting or denying access may be affected by how well they know the journalist seeking access, the absence of clear directives on the matter, or a natural resistance to instructions to expunge records. The behavior of both government officials and journalists may be affected by bureaucratic inefficiency, perceptions of the effects on individuals of having criminal records published, and public adoption of extreme positions for bargaining purposes. Differences in viewpoint exist among journalists, government officials, and privacy advocates regarding the conflict between open access to criminal records and limited access that would protect privacy. (GW)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Criminal Records
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism (61st, Seattle, Washington, August 13-16, 1978); Appendix "Rap Sheets" may not reproduce well due to poor type