Thursday, August 30, 2012

Mug shot gallery

It's not uncommon these days for newspapers to publish galleries of mugshots of jail inmates.  In fact, I blogged more than three years ago about a particularly remarkable such gallery and database that was published by the Tampa Bay Times. Interestingly, the reporter primarily responsible for developing this site, something of an expert in computer-assisted reporting, is Matt Waite, who has now returned to Lincoln and is serving on the faculty of the College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Nebraska.

Apparently our own local paper, the Lincoln Journal Star, has now joined this trend.  I noticed last week a new feature in their online edition, a gallery of Lancaster County Jail inmates, updated daily at 6:00 AM.  Mug shots are a public record in Nebraska, so the County Corrections Department must supply these when requested.  There are a lot of sad faces in that lineup, and a story behind each.


11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Director,
The number of child abusers is what really jumped out and got my attention. One or two on the list are ex inmates that I supervised while working at the State Pen. I was not surprised to see they have not changed their ways.
Gun Nut

Steve said...

I'm not sure what the effect of this type of thing will be on society. Personally, I like having access to criminal records and things like that for free on line. However, I can see both good and bad possibilities on how people might use it. For one thing, it may be a bit of a deterrent to people for fear of being exposed to the whole world for doing something wrong. On the other hand, the ease of finding out things about other people could also be an aid to those intent on criminal acts. Good, or bad, I'm afraid we're destined to see more of this kind of thing quite soon. Big brother is watching, and he is us.

Anonymous said...

Arrests and convictions should be handled differently in my opinion.
Gun Nut

Tom Casady said...

Steve,

I have the same discomfort.

Gun Nut,

They are treated differently, when it comes to the Criminal History Information Act, but a mug shot is declared to be a public record, even when the mugee has not been convicted of anything. Go figure.

Herb said...

I am not sure how to describe my reaction when seeing the length of time that has elapsed since some of these folks were booked. Murder charges, hanging out in County Jail since 09/25/2007? There has to be an explaination

Anonymous said...

Call me naive but doesn't law enforcement usually only arrest those where the evidence is overwhelming? Now, I understand the innocent until proven guilty part but I also understand that law enforcement officers don't go out arresting people without some kind of evidence first. To get to my point, if the mugshot is online, there is a good chance that person did something pretty bad for it to get that far.

Awesome Dude said...

So what would be the diffrence between the LJS and that newspaper that was published on a monthly basis about 3 years ago. I forget the name but this is public information why did he get sued and the LJS not get sued?

Awesome Dude said...

So what would be the diffrence between the LJS and that newspaper that was published on a monthly basis about 3 years ago. I forget the name but this is public information why did he get sued and the LJS not get sued?

Anonymous said...

How about the mug shot on the 10/11 website of the guy who was caught vandalizing vehicles at the UNL parking area? What a goofus! LOL!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, he didn't look too sad! Perhaps being charged with two class IV felonies hadn't sunk in yet. He's pre-med, by the way. If there's any justice (which there usually isn't), he'll get stuck with one of those felonies, instead of getting to plead to attempt of a class IV felony, which would be a misdemeanor. I want that felony on his back for the rest of his life.

308uzi said...

Any chance of finding a mugshot for a person from March 2008? Arrested in Lincoln, Nebraska. Would you have any idea? Thanks.