The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has scrubbed arrest records from Sen. Kamala Harris's controversial tenure as the state's top law enforcement official, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
The purge was conducted during a 'routine website redesign,' removing public access to several key incarceration reports.
Twice a year, the CDCR releases information about the number of new individuals incarcerated in the California prison system as part of its "Offender Data Points" series. These reports provide important information on demographics, sentence length, offense type, and other figures relevant to criminal justice and incarceration.
Until recently, these reports were publicly available at the CDCR's website. A search using archive.org's Wayback Machine reveals that as of April 25, 2019—the most recent indexed date—ODP reports were available dating back to the spring of 2009. As of August 2019, the same web page now serves only a single ODP report, the one for Spring 2019. The pre-2019 reports have been removed. -Washington Free Beacon
During the Democratic debates on Wednesday night, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) excoriated Harris's record as California Attorney General, rattling off a laundry list of 'inconvenient' facts - such as the 1,500-plus Californians Harris sent to prison for marijuana-related offenses, blocking evidence that would have freed an innocent man from death row until forced to do so by the courts, and using prison inmates as cheap labor.
Harris did not refute any of Gabbard's statements.
The now-scrubbed records were used by the Free Beacon in prior reporting - "specifically the finding that more than 120,000 black and Latino Californians were sent to prison while she was in the State A.G.'s office."
A CDCR employee claims that the changes have nothing to do with Harris's campaign, and were instead prompted by California law AB 434 which 'sets standards for web accessibility.'
"Making our website fully compliant was a significant and ongoing undertaking. It required a redesign of the look and feel of the website, and a need to evaluate all of the thousands of documents and other files that were linked to our website," said CDCR assistant secretary for communications, Jeffrey Callison, who added "While many documents that are not accessible can be remediated, it is a significant use of resources to do it across the board. Some older documents have been removed from our website but are still available upon request; others are temporarily removed while they are being remediated; and many others have already been remediated and are on our website."
How incredibly convenient for Harris.