Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed a bill late last week to bring arrest details to light as part of the state's sunshine law ensuring public access to government records and proceedings, reports ctnewsjunkie.
The new provisions in Connecticut's Freedom of Information Act reverse limits set almost one year ago in a state Supreme Court decision that effectively exempted police from having to disclose arrest information.
The state Supreme Court interpreted existing statute to mean police must release little more than basic "police blotter" information while a criminal case is pending. But it also acknowledged the "numerous salutary effects" of disclosing information that gives the public a clearer picture of the circumstances surrounding an arrest. It specifically mentioned the prevention of harassment and discrimination as benefits of greater disclosure.
The court said it is the legislature's job to "modify or clarify" the statute to enhance access to public documents.
Malloy's signature is the final endorsement of efforts by Government Administration and Elections Committee Co-Chairman Rep. Ed Jutila, D-East Lyme, who brokered a compromise between the Freedom of Information Commission and the Office of the Chief State's Attorney.