There’s now only one US state where mug shots aren’t public records

13 03 2017
In a 53-14 vote that took place days ago, South Dakota’s legislative House passed legislation that makes arrest booking photos public records. The measure, which cleared the state’s Senate in January, will be signed by Governor Dennis Daugaard.

With that signature on Senate Bill 25, (PDF) South Dakota becomes the 49th state requiring mug shots to be public records. The only other state in the union where they’re not public records is Louisiana.

The South Dakota measure is certain to provide fresh material for the online mug shot business racket. These questionable sites post mug shots, often in a bid to embarrass people in hopes of getting them to pay hundreds of dollars to have their photos removed. The exposé I did on this for Wired found that some mug shot site operators had a symbiotic relationship with reputation management firms that charge for mug shot removals.


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