Kansas officials say most criminal records are kept away from the public to protect people accused of crimes and prevent information from getting out that could endanger prosecutions.
But even some state legislators interviewed by The Kansas City Star say they are surprised by the restrictive nature of the state’s criminal records laws.
The only way for most people to get ahold of criminal records is to file a lawsuit. Sometimes that means spending thousands of dollars to get information readily available in most states.
The head of the National Freedom of Information Coalition says he knows of no other state with such restrictions.
Lyon County prosecutor Marc Goodman says his county is the only one that routinely releases criminal affidavits, and that has never caused him any problems.
Information from: The Kansas City Star