Jail mugs new Standard.net feature

Standard.net today launched a new feature: Jail mugs. We present Weber County Jail booking data in a searchable format. We’re doing it as a public service and we figure it will carry high general reader interest as well.

The feature has been in development for several months. The booking data is public information. Jail officials and the county IT department cooperated with the technical process of handing off the data.

Details available on Standard.net include a booked person’s name, aliases, date of birth, identifying information such as scars or tattoos, and booking charges. Records are presented in a filmstrip format for the most recent 60 days.

Jail mugs

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16 Responses to Jail mugs new Standard.net feature

  1. Bob Becker says:

    It might be prudent, as well as fair, to post a notice, fairly prominently on the site, that arrest and booking mean that charges have been brought against the people listed. They do not necessarily mean those booked have been convicted of criminal conduct or that they will be. As comments on arrest stories in the SE make clear, a many people assume that arrest is tantamount to proof of guilt, before any trial has been conducted. Some people arrested are released because the charges are dropped, and some are found innocent at trial. So a note pointing out that arrest and booking do not necessarily equate with guilt might be prudent. The legal “presumption of innocence” is not a technicality. It’s important.

    Or is such a disclaimer there and I missed it?

  2. Mark Shenefelt says:

    Bob, yes, there’s an “About this data” notice near the top of the page and a Frequently Asked Questions page.

  3. Michael Trujillo says:

    I see absolutely no need for this type of feature. What service does it provide? As Bob mentioned, being arrested and booked does not mean one is quilty of a crime. Pictures and placement are provocative. The “jail mug” of a person booked for outstanding moving violations (never paid the ticket, so a bench warrent was issued) will run alongside the “jail mug” of a violent felon. People will pay less attention to the verbiage accompanying the photos as they will the mere visual impact of the close association of the photos. And to what end? The individual has already been caught, so it’s not like the average joe needs a picture in order to keep an eye out for a fugitive, such as the FBI’s most wanted photos.

    This only serves the prurient interests of some of your readers.

  4. BobBecker says:

    Mark:

    OK. I flat missed it. And it’s good that it’s right there on the page, that you don’t have to click through to find it. My bad. Thanks for the correction.

  5. BobBecker says:

    MT:

    There might be some benefits to public exposure. Long ago and far away, a city I lived in ran an experiment with those convicted of DUI: they made the convictions very public by requiring them to wear DUI jumpsuits when doing their community service at places like the public library, etc. It seemed to have an impact on the more “respectable” citizens nabbed. They were mortified that their friends, neighbors, etc [and the word rapidly spread] knew they’d been convicted of DUI.

    But that was for those convicted. Arrest does not equal conviction as you note. Still, I imagine the embarrassment might have some impact on those nabbed for ignoring traffic tickets, DUI, domestic violence, etc. Possibly a preventive impact. And I could make a case for people wanting to know that someone they’re, say, thinking of doing business with has been arrested for fraud or theft.

    I wouldn’t have included the pix were I running a paper, since doing so will doubtless serve, as you note, the prurient interests of some readers. I don’t think I’d want to play to that. But they are matters of public record, and I don’t think I’d rule out in advance making them easily available having some preventive or cautionary impact.

  6. Catherine Burt says:

    MT – apparently it’s a form of entertainment

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQUIzOJbCWI

  7. Michael Trujillo says:

    Well, I have to say I’m going to satisfy my prurient interests from time to time and look at the Jail Mugs to see if I know anyone. (Hey! There’s my High School _________ teacher! I always wondered what happened to him/her!)

    But I really don’t see the practical need for it. Like Bob said, it seems more like a way to try to shame people into complying with society’s rules.

  8. Michael Trujillo says:

    Mark,

    Even though we seem to have similar views when responding to Doug’s and Charlie’s blogs, I’ve disagreed with a couple of your decissions regarding news matters lately. Just want you to know that my comments regarding the Jail Mugs and the motorcycle accident were merely to share my opinion and not to question your ability as a newspaperman. I hope my mild disagreement on the motorcycle story didn’t get lumped in with the vitriolic ranting of that other guy.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to have a good chuckle looking at the Jail Mugs while riding my motorcycle without a helmet (which will get me into a lot of hot water because I live in California where there’s a #!@% *&#! helmet law).

  9. Mark Shenefelt says:

    Michael,

    Heavens, no! Disagree away. I’ve loved the discussions on both topics you mention, and I always appreciate the obvious thought you put into your posts. Plus, I like to think I have a thick skin after 32 years (yikes) in the news business.

    Thanks for weighing in, and please keep it up.

  10. Boj says:

    Vitriolic ranting.. thanks Michael I like that I can push to new heights of achievement.

    Anyway as for this new feature, other than embarrassing people who may or may not actually be guilty and to satisfy the voyeuristic streak in the busy bodies of Ogden it doesn’t really serve any purpose. Guess this, just like the sex offenders databases will allow the neighbors to dig up dirt on each other

  11. Al Rogers says:

    This is just what we need another puritanical busy body pointing out everyone else’s flaws. I believe you should publish the pictures of the “Convicted” however; the individuals you have chosen to humiliate are “innocent until PROVEN guilty”!
    Consider that for any minor traffic violation, jaywalking, going one mile an hour over the posted speed limit, a burned out light on your license plate, any infraction at all that you are stopped for gives a police officer three options 1) a warning 2) a ticket 3) arrest. Chances are even the most cautious individual will do something today that could get their picture publicized by the Ogden Standard Examiner (guilty or not).
    This information is public and as such is accessible in other ways. In a time when newspapers are struggling why would you choose to purposely humiliate your potential readers?
    I was a subscriber but I will be cancelling immediately and will recommend the same to everyone I come in contact with.

  12. laytonian says:

    MT and Bob, you know I’m as liberal as anyone (in Utah)….but I DO see great value in shaming “people into complying with society’s rules.”

    It also keeps the drugs and prurient away from OUR Thanksgiving dinner. I didn’t know how bad that certain relative was, until I saw his booking and convictions history. Family hush-hush protects the bad and not the good.

    Keep it.

  13. Michael Trujillo says:

    So, laytonian, you shooed away a certain relative because you saw his booking and conviction history rather than because of the way he behaved at family get togethers? Sounds like you have no forgiveness in your heart, even for relatives.

    You do know, don’t you, that people are more likely to fall back to criminal behavior if they don’t have a stong support system like a family?

    On the other hand, if this family member’s behavior was boorish in any way, you shouldn’t need to know his booking and conviction history to tell him, “You need to quit acting like a jerk when you’re at our house.”

  14. laytonian says:

    MT, if you knew this person’s history, he wouldn’t be welcome in your home, either. Like I said, I’m pretty liberal…and I’m forgiving of mistakes. But not a twelve-year criminal history.

    ’nuff said. Really.

  15. Ian Richardt says:

    Wow! so its true they are doing more than sittin at 7-11! K this is great public service. Its nice to have this information readily available perhaps it may even aid in protecting the innocent, on going investigations and better community awarness! I wonder about wants and warrents could those be added like the post office bulletin board? It certainly helps to actually see the charges….meth,assault or minor traffic issues. Makes know thy neighbor easier to. It is all public info fortunatly the public now has access…kinda like a wheelchair ramp now instead of a flight of stairs!!

  16. Kim says:

    I would like to see the Davis County and Salt Lake County mugs as well. I know they are already accessible online, however it would be nice if they were accessible from the same site.

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