Dakota County Posts Jail Information In Web Site
Dakota County, Minn., emulating a similar initiative in Washington state, has posted the names, ages, mug shots, bail amounts, arrests, and charging information of everyone in the county jail on a Web site that is freely accessible to the general public.
The project is part of a national effort to inform the public about those accused and convicted of crimes, but critics warn that employers and landlords could misuse the information and base their decisions on it, mistaking suspects for convicts.
Sheriff Don Gudmundson, however, says the site is needed to save staff the time they normally use to answer dozens of daily calls by defense attorneys and family members.
“A lot of people do call to find out if their husband is in jail, if their son is in jail, because they haven’t shown up at home,” explains sheriff chief deputy Dave Bellows. “We are just trying to make this department a little more user-friendly.”
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Associated Press (02/10/04) .