Fifth Judicial District - Department of Correctional Services


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TITLE: Confidentiality Of Records


Confidentiality and disclosure of resident information shall be done in strict accordance with Section 904.602, Code of Iowa, as quoted below (underlining added):


  1. "The following information regarding individuals receiving services or who have received services from the department or from the judicial district departments of correctional services under chapter 905 is public information and may be given to anyone:"
    1. Name.
    2. Age.
    3. Sex.
    4. Status (inmate, parolee, or probationer).
    5. Location, except home street address.
    6. Duration of supervision.
    7. Offense or offenses for which the individual was placed under supervision.
    8. County of commitment.
    9. Arrest and detention orders.
    10. Physical description.
    11. Type of services received.
    12. Disciplinary reports and decisions which have been referred to the county attorney or prosecutor for prosecution, and the following information of all other disciplinary reports.
      1. The name of subject of the investigation.
      2. The alleged infraction involved.
      3. The finding of fact and the penalty, if any, imposed as a result of the infraction.
  2. "The following information regarding individuals receiving or who have received services from the department or from the judicial district departments of correctional services under chapter 905 is confidential and shall not be disseminated by the department to the public:"
    1. Home street address of the individual receiving or who has received services or that individual's family.
    2. Department evaluations.
    3. Medical, psychiatric or psychological information.
    4. Names of associates or accomplices.
    5. Name of employer.
    6. Social security number.
    7. Prior criminal history including information on offenses where no conviction occurred.
    8. Family and personal history.
    9. Financial information.
    10. Information from disciplinary reports and investigations other than that identified in subsection A, paragraph 12.
    11. Investigations by the department or other agencies which are contained in the individual's file.
    12. Department committee records which include any information identified in paragraphs "1" through "11". A record containing information which is both public and confidential which is reasonably segregable shall not be confidential after deletion of the confidential information.
    13. Presentence investigations as provided under chapter 901.
    14. Pretrial information that is not otherwise available in public court records or proceedings.

      Correspondence directed to department officers or staff from an individual's family, victims, or employers of a personal or confidential nature. If the custodian of the record determines that the correspondence is confidential, in any proceeding under chapter 22 the burden of proof shall be on the person seeking release of the correspondence, and the writer of the correspondence shall be notified of the proceeding.

  3. Information identified in subsection B shall not be disclosed or used by any person or agency except for purposes of the administration of the department's programs of services or assistance and shall not, except as otherwise provided in this section, be disclosed by the department or be used by persons or agencies outside the department unless they are subject to, or agree to, comply with standards of confidentiality comparable to those imposed on the department by this section.
  4. This section does not restrict the disclosure or use of information regarding the cost, purpose, number of persons served or assisted by or results of any program administered by the department, and other general statistical information so long as the information does not identify particular individuals served or assisted except as provided in subsection A of this section.
  5. Information restricted in subsection B may be disclosed to persons or agencies with the approval of the director for the limited purpose of research and program evaluation or educational purposes when those persons or agencies agree to keep confidential that information restricted in subsection B and any reports of the research shall not contain any of the information restricted is subsection B except as allowed in subsection D. However, the persons or agencies eligible to receive information under this subsection include only those which are state employees or those whom the department retains under contract to perform the services.
  6. Confidential information described in subsection B may be disclosed to public officials for use in connection with their official duties relating to law enforcement, audits and other purposes directly connected with the administration of their programs. Full disclosure by the department of any information on an individual may be made to the board of parole and to judicial district departments of correctional services created under chapter 905, and the board and those departments are subject to the same standards as the department in dissemination or redissemination of information on persons served or supervised by those departments, and all provisions of this section pertain to the board of parole and to the judicial district departments as if they were a part of the department. Information may be disseminated about individuals while under the supervision of the department to public or private agencies to which persons served or supervised by the department are referred for specific services not otherwise provided by the department but only to the extent that the information is needed by those agencies to provide the services required, and they shall keep information received from the department confidential.
  7. Information described in subsection B which pertains to the name and address of the employer of an individual who is receiving or has received services shall be released upon request to an individual for the purpose of executing a judgment resulting from the individual's current or past criminal activity.
  8. If it is established that a provision of this section would cause any of the department's programs of services or assistance to be ineligible for federal funds, the provision shall be limited or restricted to the extent which is essential to make the program eligible for federal funds. The department shall adopt, pursuant to chapter 17A, rules necessary to implement this subsection.
  9. A supervised individual or former supervised individual shall be given access to the individual's own records in the custody of the department, except that records which could result in physical or psychological harm to another person or the supervised individual or adversely affect an investigation into a supervised individual's possible violation of department rules, shall not be disclosed without a court order. Psychiatric information may be withheld by the department if its release would jeopardize the supervised individual's treatment. Upon the super-vised individual's written authorization, that information which the supervised individual has access to may be released to any third party. A reasonable fee for copying and services may be charged.
  10. Regulations, procedures, and policies that govern the internal administration of the department and the judicial district departments of correctional services under chapter 905, which if released may jeopardize the secure operation of a correctional institution operation or program are confidential unless otherwise ordered by a court. These records include procedures on inmate movement and control, staffing patterns and regulations, emergency plans, internal investigations, equipment use and security, building plans, operation, and security, security procedures for inmate, staff and visits, daily operation records, and contraband and medicine control.
  11. Violation of this section is a serious misdemeanor.
  12. This section does not preclude the disclosure of otherwise confidential material if it is necessary to civil or criminal court proceedings. The review of the court may, however, limit the confidential information to an in camera inspection where the court determines that the confidential nature of the information needs to be protected.
  13. Penalty for violation: Section 904.603, Code of Iowa, provides "Action for Damages" as follows: "A person receiving or who has received services, or that person's family, victim or employer may institute a civil action for damages under chapter 669 or other action to restrain the release of confidential records set out in section 904.602, subsection B which is in violation of that section, and a person, agency or governmental body proved to have released confidential records in violation of section 904.602, subsection B is liable for actual damages for each violation and is liable for court costs and reasonable attorney's fees incurred by the party bringing the action.
  14. Information from substance abuse or mental health agencies may be subject to regulations (e.g., Federal law) and staff must assure compliance with those provisions prior to release.
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