Capturing the Criminal Image: From Mug Shot to Surveillance - download pdf or read online

By Jonathan Finn

Before everything of the 20 th century, criminals, either alleged and convicted, have been many times photographed and fingerprinted-and those visible representations in their felony nature have been archived for attainable destiny use. at the start of the twenty-first century, a plethora of recent tools-biometrics, DNA research, electronic imagery, and laptop databases-similarly offer new methods for representing the criminal.Capturing the felony snapshot strains how the act of representing-and watching-is imperative to fashionable legislations enforcement. Jonathan Finn analyzes the advance of police images within the 19th century to foreground a critique of 3 id practices which are primary to present police paintings: fingerprinting, DNA research, and surveillance courses and databases. He indicates those practices at paintings via studying particular police and border-security courses, together with numerous that have been verified by way of the U.S. executive after the terrorist assaults of September eleven, 2001. modern legislations enforcement practices, he argues, place the physique as whatever that's in all likelihood criminal.As Finn finds, the gathering and archiving of id data-which consist at the present time of even more than photos or fingerprints-reflect a reconceptualization of the physique itself. And as soon as archived, id facts may be interpreted and reinterpreted in line with hugely mutable and occasionally doubtful conceptions of crime and illegal activity.

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Extra resources for Capturing the Criminal Image: From Mug Shot to Surveillance Society

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15 The development of the halftone process in the 1880s gave rise to the mass production and dissemination of images in various print media, including newspapers and magazines. By the closing years of the nineteenth century, nearly anyone could, and many did, produce photographs. Within the law enforcement community, continued advancements in photographic equipment and developing processes led to increased accumulation of mug shots. The ease and speed with which police could photograph criminals ensured that police records grew in parallel with the rising crime rates of an increasingly industrialized and urban world.

His identity as a criminal and supplements the textual data compiled on the offender. ” In all cases, identity as a crimi- Picturing the Criminal 9 Figure 4. A page of female criminals from Thomas Byrnes, Professional Criminals of America (New York: Cassell, 1886), between 202 and 203. nal precedes the use of the camera. Stripped of their textual counterpart and their placement within a rogues’ gallery, these images display the formal features of any standard portrait. Indeed, the poses and smiling faces of William Johnson and Sophie Lyons would fit equally well in any nineteenth-century family album.

28 Picturing the Criminal If a good police commissary in Italy wants to put his hand upon the unknown author of some crime, he has recourse to his memory, to photographs, and also to the clumsy criminal register instituted a few years ago. But in a kingdom as large as Italy, with such rapid means of communication, thousands of individuals escape observation. The best memory would be not much help. Delinquents easily succeed in eluding the police by changing their names, or, if arrested, give them a false idea of their antecedents by taking the name of some respectable person.

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