It is the Secretary’s policy to maintain positive, informative relationships with the public, the media and other agencies, consistent with the security and privacy interests of the Department, its staff and offenders.
Media are divided into two groups for the purposes of gaining access to correctional facilities and/or probation and parole district offices.
- Commercial Productions- freelance photographers, writers and film makers who intend to sell their work for profit to other companies.
- News media- properly credentialed and identifiable news organizations. This includes representatives of general circulation newspapers, periodical magazines of national circulation sold through newsstands and/or mail subscriptions to the general public, local/national/international news services, and radio/television stations holding a FCC license.
All visitors (credentialed media and commercial production crews) will be provided an escort while on the grounds of a correctional facility for the duration of the visit and entities must sign release forms/location agreements prior to story gathering/commercial production.
Written permission shall be obtained from an offender prior to interviewing, photographing and/or recording (audio and video) of the offender. Death Row inmates must also have their attorney’s written approval prior to an interview, photograph and/or audio or video recording, although interviews with these offenders are usually only granted after a death warrant is issued and execution is imminent. No remuneration will be provided to any offender.
In general, the Department will consider interview requests related to rehabilitation and similar programming that offenders are involved in (education, vocations, offender clubs, rodeo, etc.). Offenders are not allowed to conduct interviews where they discuss the crimes they have been convicted of. Consideration of the feelings of any victims and/or family members of victims outweigh all other issues. Access to offenders can be restricted or disallowed to prevent them from profiting from their crimes, either materially or through enhanced status as a result of media coverage.
Media inquiries should be directed to Communications Director Ken Pastorick at 225-219-0499, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Media may not circumvent Department policies regarding contact with offenders. Media may not be placed on offender telephone lists, communicate with offenders via electronic communication and/or send money to offenders. Failure by a news media representative to comply with Departmental policy constitutes grounds for denying the representative and/or the representative's agency access to facilities and interviews for a 12-month period.