May 31, 2012



Have you seen the Busted Mugshots publications at checkout counters in convenient stores?  The newspaper features recent mugshots in a regional area with the individual’s name and the reason for the arrest.  

The newspaper boasts:  “Getting arrested isn’t funny but the mugshots are.  Share photos with your Facebook friends!  Includes thousands of mugshots never published, with more added all the time.”  

There are sections within the paper that are intended to be humorous.   WHODUNNIT? is a puzzle page where you can match the mugshot to the crime.  The answers are provided on a different page.  Busted Beauties and Handsome Hooligans features some of the more attractive arrestees.  Heavenly Hair shows off some sweet hair do’s.  In the Happy Campers section the accused are wearing big smiles.  

For the individuals pictured, it’s no laughing matter.  I spoke to a woman who found herself on Busted Mugshots on-line following an arrest.    She was horrified to find her mugshot after conducting a Google search of her name.  She was in the process of interviewing for jobs and realized potential employers had also found her, thus keeping her from getting a job over an alcohol-related Class B misdemeanor.  She paid the site to remove her picture but the damage was done.  “I wish I had known that I could pay to remove the picture before someone else found me.”  

For those who are found not guilty or had cases dismissed, the publication provides a link to their contact page on-line – www.bustedmugshots.com/contact.  Court documents showing a Not-Guilty or a Dismissal will need to be provided along with the issue the mugshot appeared.  

An arrest and the subsequent struggle with the criminal justice system for some is a disconcerting life-altering experience that seems unending, and to have a mugshot in publications and on-line adds insult to injury as it haunts those who have been arrested long after the ordeal.