Tennessee Mugshots

Crime, Arrest, and Incarceration Rates

Tennessee is the 16th most populous state in the US and home to some of the nation's most dangerous neighborhoods. The state's violent crime rate stands at 9.07 incidents per 1,000 residents, a double of the national average of 4.49. Tennessee's property crime rate is 39.88 incidents per 1,000 residents, also significantly above the national rate of 27.11. In 2017, the state recorded the third-highest violent crime rate and the 9th highest murder rate in the country.

In the same year, Memphis was named among America's only 11 cities where violent crime rate exceeds 2,000 incidents per 100,000 residents. With an arrest rate of 4,801.6 per 100,000 population, Memphis has become Tennessee's most violent city. Other most dreadful neighborhoods in the state are found in Savannah, Dyersburg, Newport, Chattanooga, Pigeon Forge, Athens, Millington, Cleveland, and Sweetwater.

Tennessee’s 375 law enforcement agencies book over 350,000 arrests yearly and the state has 853 people incarcerated for every 100,000 residents. This incarceration rate is 12th highest in the USA; 18% higher than the national incarceration rate of 698 per 100,000 people. Currently, Tennessee has some 132,000 people behind bars or under criminal justice supervision. These include 62,000 residents on probation, 12,000 on parole, 8,100 inmates in federal prison, 30,000 inmates in state prisons, and 19,000 in county jails.

Public Access to Mugshots and Arrest Records

Arrest records of these offenders and ex-offenders are kept by law enforcement agencies and made accessible to all citizens on request. This is in compliance with the Tennessee Public Records Act which also offers no restriction in the subsequent use of such records by the requestors. Historically, mugshots (photographs taken of offenders at the time of booking an arrest) have always been the most fascinating part of arrest records the public. Today, a simple search online yields available mugshot of a subject. The contemporary proliferation of mugshots has been championed by private online aggregators for various commercial intents.

The most exploitative intent of these private mugshot websites is charging outrageous fees to take down booking photographs of citizens. For citizens who were not charged or convicted eventually, this has a far-reaching consequence. Various states across the nation have taken the initiative to stem this exploitation with laws restricting private use of mugshots. Nonetheless, Tennessee is not one of such states, leaving persons with arrest records in the state with limited options at protecting or redeeming their social image.

A viable option to keeping one’s mugshots and arrest records off public domain in Tennessee is to appeal for the expunction of a conviction from a person's criminal record. Expunction is a court-ordered process and it is a privilege granted to eligible citizens. A number of offenses in Tennessee are eligible for expungement. These offenses include certain DUI charges, some non-violent misdemeanor convictions, and any charge without conviction. Certain Felonies are also eligible for expungement provided the person has no more than two convictions on their record.

While there is no cost attached to expunging a charge that resulted in a dismissal or a disposition of nolle prosequi, it costs $100 to expunge an eligible charge. It is imperative to be conversant with the process of arrest record expunction in the county of one's arrest. Tennessee residents with arrest records in the state will find resources here to locate their mugshots, obtain relevant arrest history records, discover the expungement process in the county of their arrest, and contacts the right local authorities to help expungement such records.

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