The Montana Department of Corrections is a public agency under Montana’s Public Records Law, Title 2, ch. 6, Montana Code Annotated. This law requires public agencies to make public records available for inspection or duplication. Through its web page, the Department of Corrections Policy Manual is accessible to the public in accordance with the Public Records Law.
While most agency records are public documents that must be disclosed to the public upon request, the law allows public agencies to deny public access to some records when there is a specific reason provided within the public records law to do so. For example, the Department of Corrections may withhold from public disclosure any agency record that contains information in which there is an individual privacy interest that clearly exceeds the merits of public disclosure; information that relates to individual or public safety; and information that relates to the security of facilities under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections. See, § 2-6-102, Mont. Code Ann. Restricted Department policies are designated within the manual as “restricted distribution” policies. Federal and state law may also expressly limit disclosure of the information including, but not limited to, confidential criminal justice information, personnel records, health care records, and education records.
The Department Policy Unit administers all policy-related matters for the Department to ensure policies are developed and managed in accordance with applicable national standards, federal and state laws, and Department directives. Policies are under continual revision. The web page is updated as new or revised policies are approved for release by the Department director. In all matters, copies provided by the Policy Unit supersede any copy obtained electronically through the Department’s website. The Department of Corrections and State of Montana are not responsible for any document that is falsified or modified in whole or in part by any individual who accesses them.