Jailer, lawmaker want to get rid of third party websites that use mugshots

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Reporter - Robert Bradfield
Photojournalist - Michael Bradford

PADUCAH - Pictures for profit.  McCracken County Jailer Bill Adams said mugshots are becoming money-makers.

"it's become very frustrating," he said.

Adams said independent sites like mugshots.com or arrests.org take your picture and post it online.  The only way to remove it - by paying them nearly $400.     

"The company has been taking all of our information off our website and storing it - putting it on the internet then leaving it there," he said.

Adams recently took the step of removing all of his inmates pictures from the McCracken County jail's website.  He said while there is a public's right to know, privacy is also a concern especially if the person was never charged or had the charges dropped.

"They get that expunged from their record, we take it out of our system.  Court system take it out of their system.  These people still have it in the computers and it shows up 10 years later when they are applying for a job," Adams said. 

State Representative Gerald Watkins pre-filed this bill last November.  He wants to make it a class b felony for companies who require payment to remove the mugshots.

"That's exactly what it is.  It's extortion.  It's wrong, it's unethical and I'm trying to make it illegal," Watkins said.  

"The only way we know to remedy the situation is to not put that information on the website," Adams said.

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