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#1
Old 12-19-2013, 07:10 PM
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Mug Shots - What's Up With the Towel?

Over the last year or so, I've noticed that people in mug shots on TV news stories (not booking photos I don't think) appear to have a towel around their shoulders and neck, or maybe it's some kind of bathrobe? In the past (as far back as I can remember, mostly) the mug shots were always in orange jumpsuits. Anyone know what the deal with that is?
#2
Old 12-19-2013, 08:24 PM
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Can you post a photo of this?

Some jurisdictions shower and delouse suspects before continuing the booking process. It's possible it is in fact a towel.

As far as the orange jumpsuit in the pictures, it depends on where the subject is booked. If one is booked at the police station booking room, the subject will usually remain in their own clothes. The holding cells there are temporary until the subject is either released or transported to the county jail.

If the subject is booked/photographed at the jail, they may go through a change over process where their clothes are taken and they are issued a jump suite before they are photographed. Here in Milwaukee County usually they are photographed in their own clothes, but there are times for various reasons they are changed over before booking. And they don't use jumpsuits here. It's a two piece orange pants/shirt combo.
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Old 12-19-2013, 10:24 PM
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Here's the most recent one I've seen that triggered the question. http://wfaa.com/news/local/colli...236554171.html

I've seen many more like this, but again only in the last year or so.
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Old 12-19-2013, 11:27 PM
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In some article somewhere about these for-profit mug shots websites, I read that some jurisdictions put a towel around subjects' necks to prevent gang colors or tattoos from showing. The only thing in the picture is the subject's actual face. No clothes, neck tats, etc.
#5
Old 12-20-2013, 12:28 AM
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http://nbcdfw.com/news/local/Why...204110231.html

"Mug shots out of Collin County feature an interesting accessory, a towel wrapped around the suspects' neck. We called the Collin County jail to find out exactly why.

"They're so everyone looks the same in photo lineups," John Norton, explained.

For example, if the suspect was wearing a red shirt at the time of the crime, and one of the people in the lineup wears a similar color shirt, victims may choose the wrong suspect based more on the color of the clothing than the facial features.

Collin County uses this policy on all their mug shots, even once the suspect has been identified."
#6
Old 12-20-2013, 01:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drum God View Post
In some article somewhere about these for-profit mug shots websites, I read that some jurisdictions put a towel around subjects' necks to prevent gang colors or tattoos from showing. The only thing in the picture is the subject's actual face. No clothes, neck tats, etc.


Those tats are specifically photographed by the police and/or jail staff. They are an important identification item. Also, if someone wears glasses they are snapped with and then without the glasses., and so on. A booking folder can have up to a dozen different photos in it.

I wonder if the towel photo is just one they take specifically for photo line ups.
But in most places all the photos are available to the public.
#7
Old 12-20-2013, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by pkbites View Post


Those tats are specifically photographed by the police and/or jail staff. They are an important identification item. Also, if someone wears glasses they are snapped with and then without the glasses., and so on. A booking folder can have up to a dozen different photos in it.

I wonder if the towel photo is just one they take specifically for photo line ups.
But in most places all the photos are available to the public.
I think the article about Collin County that jackdavinci cited is the article that I read. Clearly, tats and other such are markings are great for identifying a person, suspect or not. I think what I was remembering was the problem with recognizing the shirt but not the face, as described by jackdavinci.
#8
Old 12-20-2013, 10:07 AM
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I think this towel trend was started by Ford Prefect and Authur Dent a few years ago in England.
#9
Old 12-20-2013, 02:30 PM
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Its also been deemed prejudicial for a jury/witness to a photograph with the common orange jump suit. "He was in jail? He must have done it!". Before long its going to be, "He's wearing a towel around his neck? He must have done it!".
#10
Old 12-20-2013, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Werekoala View Post
Here's the most recent one I've seen that triggered the question. http://wfaa.com/news/local/colli...236554171.html

I've seen many more like this, but again only in the last year or so.
heh - I knew what mugshot you were going to show before I even clicked the link. I saw the same one and had exactly the same question and meant to start the thread on the dope. The high profile case of the husband and wife team that killed the JP last year also had them in the same white blankets.
#11
Old 12-20-2013, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerrySTL View Post
I think this towel trend was started by Ford Prefect and Authur Dent a few years ago in England.
Damn, beat me to it! First thing I thought.
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