New law would release jail booking photos of those charged with crime

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington state lawmakers have advanced out of a House committee a proposal that would make jail booking photos public.

The House Public Safety Committee passed the measure by an 8-1 vote Friday morning. It would require Washington state jails to release the mugshots of people who have been arrested and booked into custody.

The booking photos would become public only after a person is charged with a crime and arraigned in a court hearing and would be withheld if their release would affect an ongoing investigation.

Washington and South Dakota are the only states west of the Mississippi River in which jail mugshots are not considered public records, according to Rowland Thompson, executive director of the Allied Daily Newspapers of Washington.