Visual Encyclopedia

Mug shot

A mug shot or mugshot (an informal term for police photograph or booking photograph) is a photographic portrait typically taken after a person is arrested. The original purpose of the mug shot was to allow law enforcement to have a photographic record of an arrested individual to allow for identification purposes by victims, the public and investigators. However, in the United States entrepreneurs have recently begun to exploit the mug shot for commercial gains via the mug shot publishing industry.

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