Jul 22 2010
11:39 am
By: Rockwood Lawyer

The Roane County Sheriff's Office has created an online inmate database, which is available on the Sheriff's Office Website.

I haven't yet conclusively determined that this database is complete and fully up-to-date. Maybe someone who knows can give us that information. However, assuming it is, it will save my office time calling the jail to see whether a particular inmate has been released. I imagine I wasn't the only one calling the jail for that type of information, and that the jailers are happy to be able to refer callers to the website.

That said, it's important to keep in mind that every one of the jail's inmates are someone's child, spouse, sibling, or parent. It also remains a fact that pretrial detainees are (and rightfully should be) presumed innocent until proven guilty, and that, in fact, many arrested person are never convicted of any crime. Finally, let's not forget when viewing the booking photos that are included with the database that you wouldn't look too happy or hot if you were being admitted to the jail and were on that end of the camera.

All in all, the database itself being on the Internet can be of some useful assistance, but I'm a little less sure why people's booking pictures need to be published online. I hope the Sheriff's office and viewers will use this new technological tool appropriately.

Rockwood Lawyer

Thank you for the info! It is nice that improvements are made to increase efficiency.

For privacy reasons, however, it would be better if the database display were more like that for, say, the Dallas, TX County jail. There you must enter the name and gender or race of the possible inmate in order to get any information. That prevents people from just surfing the inmate list.

-- OneTahiti

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