CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — News reporters will need to file a public records request in order for the Wyoming Department of Corrections to answer any of their questions after the agency lays off its public information officer. The change takes effect Oct. 8 and raises questions about how the department will continue to quickly inform the public about urgent safety matters such as escaped inmates and COVID-19 at correctional institutions.

Wyoming state agencies typically take several weeks to months to answer records requests. The policy change is due to 10% cuts at Wyoming agencies that have eliminated 165 jobs at the corrections department alone.