Hank Sims / Friday, July 13, 2012 @ 3:36 p.m. / Crime, Housekeeping
Introducing! BOOKED: Your Who’s Who Guide to the Humboldt County Jail
In our second major housekeeping announcement of the day — if you missed the first, see here — the Lost Coast Outpost is pleased to introduce “BOOKED,” a LoCO subsection that gives you an automatically updated list of the previous day’s inductees into the Humboldt County Hall of Fame.
As you can see, “BOOKED” breaks out the details on every person jailed — name, police agency, type and time of arrest, and all charges entered against the jailee. Felonies, misdemeanors and infractions are color-coded. You can browse back in time and all that.
It is our hope that in addition to informing the public on a day-to-day basis, BOOKED, once it gathers enough data, will serve as a useful tool for analysis. Which police agencies arrest people for petty drug offenses most often? What is the recidivism rate for certain types of crime in Humboldt County? Etc.
In fact, BOOKED has already paid news dividends. It helped us nail down Wednesday’s scoop on the big DEA raids near Miranda — the first of a mysterious series, it seems — and it gave us leverage with the DEA. Would the feds have put out a press release on the raid if we hadn’t already found and published the names of those arrested? Unclear.
TODO: I believe it’s going to be possible for me to automatically link the sections of penal code violation to the text of the law itself through a little bit of trickery. Look for that next week, perhaps. Also, I’d like to make the tables filterable and sortable and etc.
Final note: There has been some concern in the Lost Coast Outpost of late about the publishing of the names of those arrested for crimes, prior to conviction. The objection is that folks’ names live forever on the Internet in association with a crime of which, after all, they may be found completely innocent. I believe this concern is unfounded so long as we follow up the case through the courts, whether by our own initiative or through a request from someone found cleared of wrongdoing.
In the case of BOOKED, the situation is different. Obviously we do not have the capacity to follow the subsequent court cases, if any, of every single person arrested in the county. Fortunately, there is a simple technical remedy: BOOKED archives are 100% un-Googleable. (See Wikipedia on the Robots Exclusion Standard for details.)
That’s it! Happy BOOKing!