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Here’s a stumper, as Kenyan McDuffie‘s crime package heads to the D.C. Council for a vote today.
As chairman of the Council’s judiciary committee, McDuffie led the fight to keep police body camera footage public. But when it comes to reports on the effectiveness of his controversial proposal to pay potential criminals not to commit more crimes, McDuffie isn’t as in favor of transparency.
In an amendment in the nature of a substitute attached to his bill that McDuffie submitted yesterday, McDuffie requires the city agency in charge of the program to make an annual report on its success. The report would include participants’ progress, demographic information, and recruitment figures.
It’s a necessary review on a program that could ultimately pay individuals thousands of dollars to attend anti-crime programs and stay out of trouble. But McDuffie’s legislation makes it difficult to see just how the program is doing, because he exempts the annual reports from the Freedom of Information Act.
In an email to LL, McDuffie spokeswoman Dionne Calhoun says the FOIA exemption is meant to “preserve the confidentiality of participant information.” But language in McDuffie’s legislation already requires the report to be “protective of personally-identifying information,” to say nothing of the privacy exemptions already built into the city’s FOIA law.
Instead, McDuffie’s FOIA legislation will make it harder to know whether his unorthodox anti-crime approach is actually working.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery