Q:

Can you view mugshots of inmates?

A:

Quick Answer

It is possible to look up mugshots of inmates by using a prison identification number or name. If searching by name, it is also helpful to have additional information available such as race, date of birth, gender and state.

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Full Answer

Mugshot databases are usually cleared on a regular basis. Therefore, if an inmate was incarcerated prior to a certain time, his or her mugshot may not be available. That said, a person may be able to do a search on the Internet to find an old mugshot. If that fails, contact the prison directly to see if there might be a mugshot archive available.

The Bertillion System was invented by a Parisian clerk in the Prefecture of Police Office. It was a predecessor to current-day mugshots, a side-by-side front and side view of the accused's face. Introduced at the 1893 World's Fair, the system quickly caught on in the United States. Many people viewed the mugshot as a step forward in scientific law enforcement. Some police departments superimposed one mugshot on top of another, thus giving an image of a "typical" pickpocket or burglar. When browsing mugshots online, it is important to remember that many are posted regardless of whether or not the person in question has been convicted of a crime.

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