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Group sues for Vermont prison health information

Bloomberg Businessweek, August 31, 2010

A prisoners' rights group is asking a court to order a company that provided health care in Vermont's prisons to release details of any lawsuits it has settled in Vermont. Prison Legal News, a self-help magazine and inmate advocacy organization based in Brattleboro, is suing a company formerly known as Prison Health Services in hopes of getting a court to find that the company is, in effect, a public agency subject to public records law. The Brentwood, Tenn.,-based company, which is now known as PHS, was contracted by the Vermont Department of Corrections from 2005 to 2009. Prison Legal News had asked the company for its Vermont records earlier this month, but the request was rejected. The company said it wasn't bound by Vermont's public records law. So the publication filed suit in Washington County Superior Court. The suit was filed Tuesday, according to Prison Legal News attorney David Sleigh, of St. Johnsbury.