Broadcast on Vermont Public Radio
* * *
Laura Ziegler filed her first public records request because she wanted to weigh in on a proposed rule change about how and when psychiatric patients could be forcibly medicated.
Since that first request 18 years ago, anything Ziegler may have learned hasn’t necessarily made accessing public records easier. Through her work as a citizen activist for patients’ rights — especially psychiatric patients and prisoners — Ziegler says she continually gets the run-around: Agencies redacting records that historically have been public. Delaying responses to her requests. Even respondents saying records don’t exist, when she knows they do.