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Event Details

Public and Private Sector Uses of Criminal Justice System Data: Perspectives on Digital Punishment, Privacy, and Stigma


Similar to other systems of recordkeeping, criminal recordkeeping has been significantly transformed in the digital age. Collecting and publishing mugshots and booking details of individuals arrested by law enforcement agencies has become a highly profitable enterprise for many businesses. Some of those companies not only engage in criminal recordkeeping for profit, but also offer reputation management services for individuals wishing to pay for the removal of their mugshots from the cataloging websites. Social networks have also proven to be a popular venue for criminal recordkeeping by businesses and individuals. Mugshots posted by police departments on Facebook are often shared and reposted widely by users, local newsrooms, and predatory extortion websites. The deep involvement of private sector actors in what used to be the exclusive domain of the criminal justice system raises fascinating questions about legal boundaries, ethical choices around private criminal recordkeeping, and the moral obligations of businesses to mitigate those challenges.

In this event, Professor Sarah Esther Lageson will discuss her recent book, Digital Punishment: Privacy, Stigma, and the Harms of Data-Driven Criminal Justice, which explores many of these questions from a sociological perspective. Learn more and register.