Questions Posted to "Ask a Dispatcher"
Q. Is it possible to get a mug shot of someone recently jailed. For sentimental reasons???
Dear Juneau Resident,
One's mind races with the possibility of what type of sentimental reason could motivate this question. Lets not dwell on the possibilities though there must be quite a story involved.
You might be out of luck with your request. JPD can only distribute photos from Department of Corrections(DOC) or the Department of Motor Vehicles if we are seeking someone for law enforcement purposes...warrant, interview, creating a photo lineup, that kind of thing. We can also publish a photo if the person is missing/endangered and it is a reasonable conclusion the person would not object to the photo being used.
The fine folks from DOC over at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center say they will hand out photos only under very specific circumstances. Giving the picture to someone to make a dart board cover or a Valentine card are two situations NOT on their list. DOC staff will give the photo to the person in the picture if he or she is being released and has no other ID. It is unclear if someone could cash a check or buy alcohol in a bar with that particular 'Government' ID.
You might ask, as one of the JPD dispatchers did when we discussed this question, "Where do all those celebrity mug shots come from that you see on 'Where Are They Now?' specials on VH1?" One theory is that if the picture was part of the case file, like it was used in a photo lineup, maybe it became public record after the case was closed. Also, other states might have different rules than Alaska when it comes to releasing photos.