Mugshots have been used to identify criminals since the mid-1800’s. Only recently has there been progress in developing a mugshot database for criminal identification
Mugshots are photographic portraits taken subsequent to the arrest of an individual. The thought of mugshots conjures up the visions of “Wanted" posters seen on such classic detective television shows as The Untouchables from 40 years ago. The photos in the early days were barely recognizable, but with technology, they improved over time.
The mugshot, including jail mug shots and police mug shots, consists of two separate photos: a one side-view photo and a front-view photo of the defendant. In early days, a defendant’s personal identification information written on a card, and the mug shot was affixed to it. This card became part of the criminal database. Today, digital photography is used at Central Booking proceedings for accused criminals, and the photo is automatically linked to a database record of the arrest.
Mugshots date back to the “Wild West” days in the middle of the nineteenth century. Allen Pinkerton, a famous detective, has been named “The Father of the American Private Investigator,” and is credited with the initial utilization of mugshots for criminal investigation purposes. It was Pinkerton who popularized the mugshot attached to the criminal history report of individuals around 1850. Soon thereafter, jail mug shots and police mug shots became the rule rather than the exception.
Mug Shot Database
In recent years, biometric systems have been researched extensively in order to allow facial recognition to be used in the criminal identification process. The problem was to make the system compatible with frontal-view recognition featuring faces of the same person with slightly different facial expressions, view angles and head poses. This system can be used for a comprehensive mug shot database that can be implemented for mugshot identification where a victim or a witness has seen the criminal from a side-view only.
Mug shot searches are now available to you as a means of identifying criminals who have their mugshots in the criminal records database. You now can access both jail mug shots and police mug shots that previously were available only to police and law enforcement agencies.
Suppose you are followed into a parking lot by someone and, the next day, you read an article about a similar incident that includes the name of a suspect. You can authorize a mugshot search in order to determine if this man was the same predator who followed you, and you can notify the police about the incident. In this way, you are doing your civic duty by making sure another person is not victimized.