FOIA Advisor

FOIA News: Second Circuit rejects appeal by prison companies to shield business information

FOIA News (2017)Allan BlutsteinComment

Prison Companies' Bid to Withhold Documents Fails

By Mark Hamblett, NY Law Journal, Feb. 9, 2017

Two of the nation's largest private prison companies who handle immigration detention for the federal government have lost their bid to keep proprietary business information from being released.

The GEO Group Inc. and CoreCivic intervened to appeal a Freedom of Information Act ruling where civil liberties groups are seeking details about immigration detention practices, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit found they lacked standing.

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In July, Southern District Judge Lorna Schofield ordered the government to release details of its contracts with private prison corporations. She rejected its claim that the documents were shielded under FOIA Exemption 4 for trade secrets; and under Exemption 7(e) for information that would disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions.

The government declined to appeal, but Schofield stayed disclosure while allowing The GEO Group and CoreCivic (formerly Corrections Corp. of America) to intervene an appeal.

Read more here.