§ 950-1-1-.10. Public Request For Information
Except as otherwise provided by law, public records of the department are open for inspection by citizens of the State of Alabama. Access to records shall be provided in accordance with this chapter.
Records of youth (youth case files) who are or have been in the custody of the department are not public records, and are required by state law to be kept confidential. Youth case files are retained by the Department a maximum of six (6) years. Generally, Youth case files are retained by the department until the youth youth's eighteenth birthday, then forwarded for storage at the State Records Center for another five (5) years. A sampling of youth case files is done prior to the destruction of the records. Youth case files will not be produced, except in the following limited circumstances:
It is unlawful, except for purposes directly connected with the administration of the department, or as provided by statute, and in accordance with these regulations, for any person or persons to solicit, disclose, receive or make use of, or authorize, knowingly permit, participate in or acquiesce in the use of any information concerning any youth for whom the department provides social services or care and derived from the records, papers, files or communications of the department, or of any agency or facility utilized by the department in providing services to any youth or acquired in the course of the performance of official duties.
The disclosure of a youth's information secured in the performance of functions under this chapter may only be produced upon order of the court which vested legal custody of the youth in the department, and only in any one of the following circumstances:
(1) In subsequent proceedings for delinquency involving the same youth;
(2) To other youth care agencies which subsequently provide services to the said youth;
(3) In any issue of custody before a court in which the court finds that such disclosure is necessary to protect the general welfare of the youth; or
(4) For research purposes where anonymity is preserved.
The department requires compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), (Public Law 104-191) before producing any information from a youth's case file. In addition to an order from the committing court, the department will require the Youth's written authorization before using or disclosing personal health information about the youth.
Public records of the Department are available to citizens of the State of Alabama. To obtain public records or request copies of rules of the Department of Youth Services, a request should be made in writing to: Department of Youth Services, P. 0. Box 66, Mt. Meigs, Alabama 36057. Attention: Legal Division. Telephone: (334) 215-3803. The request must provide the legal name and address of the person or entity making the request and must identify the requested records with reasonable specificity.
A non-refundable twenty-five dollar ($25.00) research fee is required for each request. The research fee includes up to twenty photocopies at no additional cost.
A fee for the cost of copies at the rate of fifty cents ($.50) per page will be charged for all copies (in excess of twenty), which is the actual cost incurred for producing records.
If non-privileged documents are in the possession of the department, you will receive correspondence stating the number of pages and the amount (if any) of any additional fee. Upon receipt of certified funds in the specified amount, documents will be copied and sent via US mail to the address identified in the request.(Department of Youth Services Organizational Chart Amended by Alabama Administrative Monthly Volume XXXVII, Issue No. 02, November 30, 2018, eff. December 21, 2018.)
Author: Department of Youth Services
Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, § 44-1-39.
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