Kentucky Mugshots

Crime, Arrest, and Incarceration Rates

Kentucky is one of the 23 US states whose incarceration rates stand out internationally. With the 9th highest incarceration rate in the nation (869 persons in every 100,000 resident), today Kentucky has some 41,000 Kentucky residents behind bars. Kentucky state prisons are holding 24,000 inmates, while local jails hold 13,000 and federal prisons 3,500.

With 4.46 million residents and 389 law enforcement agencies making over 500,000 arrests annually, Kentucky ranks among the nation’s fairly dangerous states. The state has the 5th lowest violent crime rate in the nation, and its property crime rate is five points higher than the national average. Recent statistics from Kentucky State Police shows a serious crime is committed every 2 minutes with property crimes outstripping violent crimes by 2.4 to 1.

A recent scale comparing violent crime rate to property crime rate in each city highlighted that Paducah, Mayfield, Oak Grove, Bowling Green, and Campbellsville as the most dangerous places in Kentucky. Other cities that made the top most dangerous in the state include Newport, Shively, Owensboro, Frankfort, and Radcliff.

Indeed, population density seems not a determinant factor in how violent a Kentucky city can be. The ranking included cities with over 50,000 people (Owensboro and Bowling Green) and cities with fewer than 10,000 residents (Mayfield and Oak Grove). Infact, Kentucky's two largest cities, Louisville and Lexington, are poles apart on the national safest radar. Lexington is acclaimed one of the five safest metro cities in the country year-on-year, while Louisville was recently ranked 11th most dangerous metro area in America.

Public Access to Mugshots and Arrest Records

Criminal prosecution in Kentucky begins with an arrest. After an arrest by a law enforcement officer, the offender is transported to the nearest jail. There are 80 county jails and four regional jails in the state (41 counties have no jail). In Kentucky, jails are under the supervision of an elected jailer and not the Sheriff's Office. This means the jails serve as the repository for Kentucky arrest records including mugshots and fingerprints.

By the state’s statute, these arrest records are public documents that are accessible to the general public. This ease of access has led to the proliferation of copies of mugshots on private websites across the country. A number of these private mugshot sites have taken to exploiting citizens by charging exorbitant fees to remove these arrest records from their online database. An issue that has become both national and local controversy.

In Kentucky, Rep. Gerald Watkins has been at the forefront of the fight against these extortionist websites. The bill he sponsored targeted at the commercial mugshot websites was finally passed into law early 2019. The law makes it a Class D felony to demand money for mugshot removal. In the same vein and with the aim of helping citizens put their criminal records behind them, the state expanded its original criminal records expungement law to accommodate for nonviolent, nonsexual Class D felony offenders. The law was also updated to reduce expunction application fee from $500 to $250, and reduce the waiting period to appeal for expungement from 10 years to five.

Kentucky citizens with criminal records are welcome to exploit the ambit of existing expungement law to solicit the removal of their mugshots from commercial aggregators’ databases. This site provides resources to locate your mugshots, obtain certified arrest history records, discover the expungement process in the county of your arrest and contact the right local authorities to help you accomplish this.

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