Metro inmate mug shots and information now available online - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Metro inmate mug shots and information now available online

Posted: Updated:
Mark Bolton Mark Bolton
Frank Mascagni Frank Mascagni
Dina Bartlett Dina Bartlett

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Mug shots of every person sitting in Louisville's jail are now available online for everyone to see. The Louisville Metro Department of Corrections unveiled a major step forward in technology Tuesday. It is something other jails, even some in our area, have had for awhile now. 

Metro Corrections director Mark Bolton said they realized about four years ago that they were lagging behind in the use of technology. The new XJail system is meant to help worried families find their loved ones and free up Metro Corrections staff, but those probably aren't the only groups that will benefit. With a few clicks of the mouse, you can now check out every person who's sitting in Louisville's jail, complete with pictures, charges, and upcoming court dates.

"With the advent of iPhones and Droid phones, smart phones, people will have the ability to pull it up on a phone," said Bolton.

Bolton said XJail will save his staff time on the phone, not answering calls coming in from family members asking how to get their loved ones out. What you won't find is information on people who've already been released.

"Giving people the ability to have a second chance and not having to worry about their mug shot being online for everyone to see once they've been released from jail, I happen to think that that's important," said Bolton.

Defense attorney Frank Mascagni thinks that's important too, but worries that the information is up there for all the world to see in the first place - whether the suspect is guilty or not. Mascagni said the potential for misuse is high.

"A person that wants to stalk you, wants your information, may send you a letter, 'Oh I'm going to send this to your boss at ABC Company,'" said Mascagni. "Doesn't it appear to be just a little fraught with some evilness, assuming there are bad people with evil intentions?"

Mascagni acknowledges all the information online now was already available as a public record. At least one magazine sold around town routinely publishes mug shots for people to browse, but Mascagni said the online system will make that even easier.

"It just seems to me the government going too far in release of that information," said Mascagni.

However, there's another group that could benefit: victims and their families.

Dina Bartlett works with the Mary Byron Project, which helped pushed for the victim notification system first used in Jefferson County and now in 47 states. Bartlett believes the potential benefit to victims and families could be the best part of the new system.

"It sounds like it's just another extension of what vine started nearly 20 years ago and that is giving victims real access to their information about the process that affects them," said Bartlett.

Metro Corrections is using XJail to put all of the inmate information online. You can find it by clicking on the XJail button on the corrections home page. Click here to get there.

Copyright 2013 WAVE 3 News.  All rights reserved.