But don't look to the Michigan Department of Corrections to out men who work there and sexually harass female subordinates and colleagues.
The department, citing its interpretation of state law, won't name employees who violate work rules against sexual harassment, even when such information is requested under Michigan's Freedom of Information Act.
It also won't say whether specific harassers have been disciplined and to what extent.
That sets Corrections apart from almost all other Michigan state agencies, as well as most corrections departments in similar-sized states. And it means, for the most part, the identity of sexual harassers who work for the department only become known when a lawsuit or a civil service grievance is filed.
A Free Press investigation reported earlier this week that Corrections Department employees filed 186 sexual harassment complaints between 2015 and 2017, which resulted in discipline against 30 employees. Female employees say harassers sometimes act with impunity in a mostly male environment with a work culture similar to the "blue wall of silence" associated with police departments.
Many women bold enough to complain say they've been retaliated against through investigations targeting them for supposed violations of selectively enforced rules. This is despite a pledge 30 years ago to stamp out sexual harassment, which was found to be rampant in the department.
Some say the refusal to publicly disclose information doesn't help to reduce the department's sexual harassment problem.
"In light of the #MeToo movement, it's going on in the workplace, and it's flat-out wrong," said Jane Briggs-Bunting, a board member of the Michigan Coalition for Open Government and retired director of the MSU School of Journalism.
"Not allowing it to reach the light of day allows it to continue."
Under the Michigan FOIA law, personnel records of all state employees are normally subject to public disclosure, with exceptions for personal information such as home addresses, phone numbers and social security numbers.
But in 1994, the Michigan Legislature amended the Michigan Corrections Act to make the Correction Department's personnel records exempt from FOIA.
The legislation specifically exempts only "the home addresses, telephone numbers and personnel records" of corrections and psychiatric employees. But the Corrections Department defines personnel records to include "investigatory, disciplinary and time and attendance records."
The department considers investigative reports prepared by its internal affairs division to be personnel records, despite the fact internal affairs is located in a completely different area of the department's organizational chart than personnel services.
And the way the Corrections Department interprets the law sets state prison employees apart from other state employees — even those in law enforcement. For example, reports of Michigan State Police internal affairs investigations are subject to FOIA.
The Michigan Department of Corrections' policy is also at odds with many other states. The Free Press surveyed the 10 states closest to Michigan in population — five larger and five smaller. Of the seven states that responded or had policies clearly stated on their websites, five — North Carolina, Georgia, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts — said they would at least identify prison employees determined to have committed sexual harassment.
Two other states — New Jersey and Virginia — said they would not.
Deborah Gordon, a Bloomfield Hills attorney who has sued the Corrections Department and many other public and private employers over sexual harassment, said keeping the identities of Corrections Department sexual harassers secret is "a ridiculous concept."
"These are not just government employees, but they're government employees put in control of a prison population of other citizens," Gordon said.
"Once you are found to have violated a disciplinary policy, I fail to see how it can't be made public."
Gordon suggested that when hired, Corrections Department employees should sign an acknowledgement that their disciplinary records will be open to public inspection.
State Rep. Jeremy Moss, D-Southfield, who has pushed for greater transparency in state government, said it's troubling that the department won't release discipline information about known sexual harassers in its ranks.
"It's definitely something that ought to be looked at," Moss told the Free Press on Monday.
Asked whether the department would support legislation that required or permitted it to identify workplace sexual harassers, a spokeswoman for the department was noncommittal Thursday.
"We are not aware of any legislation like this that has been proposed," said Holly Kramer. "If and when that legislation is drafted, we would take time to review it."
The Michigan Corrections Organization, the union representing the state's corrections officers, had no comment Monday on whether employee discipline records should be subject to FOIA, spokeswoman Anita Lloyd said.
In Illinois, investigative and discipline records would be released in cases where a sexual harassment complaint was upheld against an employee, said Department of Corrections spokeswoman Lisa Weitekamp. Like most departments, Weitekamp said Illinois would withhold the name of the complainant, but the harasser's name would be released.
In North Carolina, the Division of Prisons would release "the date and type of each dismissal, suspension, or demotion for disciplinary reasons," and, in the case of a dismissal, "a copy of the written notice ... setting forth the specific acts or omissions that are the basis of the dismissal," according to a posting on the state website.
The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections would release letters sent to state employees, setting out discipline, in cases where a complaint of sexual harassment against them had been upheld, said Andrew Filkosky of the department's Office of Chief Counsel.
Such letters, in some cases, but not all cases, include details about the alleged violation, Filkosky said.
Kate Silvia, director of public records for the Massachusetts Department of Corrections, said records of internal affairs investigations involving employees would normally be made public upon request, though certain items such as medical information would be redacted. The department would not disclose what discipline resulted from the investigation, since that is considered a personnel record that is not subject to disclosure, she said.
In Georgia, the department's internal affairs investigations are confidential, but the department has put together a spreadsheet for public inspection related to all harassment allegations since 2013, said Department of Corrections spokeswoman Lori Benoit.
The spreadsheet includes the name of the person accused, the type of harassment, and the penalty, if there was one, said Benoit. She said employees' names would be made public whether the complaint was upheld or not.