Possibly one of the stranger items I’ve come across while wandering through the vastness that is the Internet would have to be this page on the Catawba County Government, North Carolina website.
Simply titled “Who’s In Jail?” it is quite literally a list of every person currently in prison in the county. Along with the list of their crimes, you can peruse the amount of their bail, their age, the date they were incarcerated, and their mugshot… even their address is available for public viewing.
As far as I’m aware, we don’t do that sort of thing here in Australia… however, we do make documentaries about our more unusual prison stories, like
“Jail birds: voices from the inside.”
Available in our DVD Collection, this 118min film, features the man who created the Choir of Hard Knocks, Jonathon Welch, as he goes inside an Australian women’s prison to try and form a new choir, offering possibilities of hope, inspiration and consolation through music to another section of our population that many of us would rather ignore.
This could be a useful resource for genealogists in the US.
It just amazes me that with all their apparent fervour for their constitutional rights, a site like this is able to exist and provide anyone with internet access details like home addresses, bail amounts, crimes and photos. Especially given that not all of the people on the list have actually been convicted of the crimes listed for them. Surely that violates some sort of rights?
But on the same token, some folks in the US are rather fervent about freedom of speech and access to information. They may feel that not being able to access this is unconstitutional.