So you get arrested. Here’s what happens next:
STEP 1: Jailers first search and screen you for medical concerns when you arrive at the downtown facility.
STEP 2: You get a free new outfit.
STEP 3: You’re led to an aging video camera that captures a still image, your mug shot.
Everyone must stand in front of the same painted bluish-gray wall. Any photo could end up in a lineup and they need to be uniform, said jail Sgt. Steve Anderson, who has booked hundreds of inmates in 29 years.
The directions are simple: Stand straight. Look forward. Don’t do anything stupid.
“Some really ham it up for the camera,” Anderson said.
It’s hard to believe, but most inmates cooperate for the booking photo. Inappropriate gestures guarantee a second picture, while jailers have to distract some stubborn inmates.
And if they don’t feel like behaving, jailers haul inmates to a cell and will try again for the photo later. Inmates also are warned no photo means no phone call.
“They’re going to do it sometime before they’re released,” Anderson said.
How they’re used
Jailers shot about 5,300 mug shots last year, down about 700 from 2010.
“A few could be responsible for five or six times,” Anderson said.
It’s state law that everyone arrested must have a mug shot. Besides using them in lineups and to keep track of inmates, the photo is included on a plastic bracelet to help jailers dispensing medicine and canteen items.