June 24, 1996

In re: Larry W. Thomas/Blackburn Correctional Complex


This matter comes to the Attorney General on appeal from the Department of Correction's partial denial of Mr. Larry Wayne Thomas's open records request to inspect certain records pertaining to him from his inmate file maintained by the Department.

Mr. Thomas requested to inspect “any and all documents that has been kept regarding early final discharge, restoration of civil rights, parole violation assessment sheets and all documents that pertain to me from the time my parole supervision was in the inactive stage, until it was recently activated. All taking place between 1984 thru 1990.”

Ms. Geraldine Glass, Assistant Branch Manager, Offender Records, Department of Corrections, partially denied Mr. Thomas's request, stating:

We have searched our records and have found that there are only two documents from the period you have listed that may be released to you under the Open Records Act. These documents are the letter informing you of your release from active supervision in September, 1985, and the application and denial of final discharge from parole. Your file does contain supervision reports prepared by your probation and parole officer; however these documents may not be released. KRS 61.878(1)(l) exempts from disclosure all information or records made confidential by an enactment of the General Assembly. KRS 439.510 provides that information obtained by a probation and parole officer in the performance of his or her duty is privileged. The supervision reports in your file fall under this exemption.

We are asked to determine whether the Department's response to Mr. Thomas's request was consistent with the Open Records Act. For the reasons which follow, we conclude that the Department's partial denial was proper and consistent with the Act.

Among the records excluded from the application of the Open Records Act are “[p]ublic records or information the disclosure of which is prohibited or restricted or otherwise made confidential by enactment of the general assembly.” KRS 61.878(1)(l). KRS 439.510 makes confidential:

All information obtained in the discharge of official duty by any probation or parole official . . . such information shall not be disclosed directly or indirectly to any person other than the court, board, cabinet . . . unless otherwise ordered by such court, board or cabinet.

Since the supervision reports were prepared by Mr. Thomas's probation and parole officer in the discharge of his official duties, these records, pursuant KRS 439.510, would be exempt from disclosure and may be properly denied under KRS 61.878(1)(l). Accordingly it is the decision of this office that the Department's partial denial of the request was correct and in accord with provisions of the Open Records Act.

A party aggrieved by this decision may appeal it by initiating action in the appropriate circuit court pursuant to KRS 61.880(5) and KRS 61.882. Pursuant to KRS 61.880(3), the Attorney General should be notified of any action in circuit court, but should not be named as a party in that action or in any subsequent proceeding.






Distributed to:

Larry W. Thomas #82537

Blackburn Correctional Complex

3111 Spurr Road (B-2)

Lexington KY 40511

Geraldine Glass

Assistant Branch Manager

Offender Records

Department of Corrections

Division of Administrative Services

State Office Bldg.

Frankfort KY 40601