In 2019, the Illinois State Senate passed a law that would drastically change the way mugshots were released to the public. This law was put in place to protect individuals from having their mugshots used by companies who wanted to charge them a fee for removing their images from online sites. Now that this new law has been in effect for more than a year, let’s take a look at how it has changed the way mugshots are released in Illinois.
In 2020, the state legislature passed a new law banning the publication of mugshots except in very narrow circumstances. It is designed to protect individuals from exploitation by media sites that make money from these images by charging high fees to remove them from circulation or keep them private.
Unfortunately, it has had unintended consequences as it may lead to hard-working people losing their jobs or social approval. The debate continues over whether Illinois Mugshot law strikes the right balance between privacy concerns and ensuring public safety. As we await a solution, one thing is clear – the need to place greater emphasis on restorative justice practices should be paramount as we move forward.
Background Information on Mugshot Laws
Before this new law went into effect, there were no regulations in place for how and when mugshots could be released. This meant that anyone could access and post an individual’s mugshot without their consent or knowledge. Companies would then take advantage of these photos by charging individuals large fees—sometimes as much as $400—to have their images removed from websites. Thankfully, this practice is now prohibited under the new law.
What Does The New Law Say?
Under the new legislation, police departments are required to obtain written permission from an individual before releasing any of their information to the public—including their mugshots. Police departments must also provide each person with a copy of any documents they request, as well as contact information for other relevant parties (such as attorneys or news outlets). Furthermore, if someone is arrested but not charged with a crime, they can request that all records of the incident be destroyed within 30 days after being notified of the arrest.
How Has The Law Impacted People?
The new law has had a positive impact on many people who were previously exposed to potential financial exploitation due to their mugshots being posted online without consent or knowledge. The legislation also eliminates potential discrimination based on race and gender which may have occurred when certain individuals’ mugshots were unfairly targeted and circulated online. Finally, it provides individuals with greater control over how and when their personal information is shared with others—a right which was previously lacking in Illinois.
The Bottom Line
The 2019 changes to Illinois’s mugshot laws have been beneficial for many people living in the state who may have been taken advantage of by unscrupulous companies looking to make money off of vulnerable individuals’ photos being posted online without consent or knowledge. This new legislation has provided individuals with greater control over how their personal information is disseminated and has eliminated potential forms of discrimination based on race or gender which may have occurred in past cases involving mugshots being shared without permission or awareness. All in all, this new law will undoubtedly help keep those living in Illinois safer and more secure going forward.