After several years of publishing a weekly jail report in the Mountain Advocate newspaper, our staff conducted a poll over the course of the past week. A simple question was posed: Is it necessary to continue publishing the jail report (mugshots and charges) for inmates of the Knox County Detention Center each week?
The answer was a resounding “Yes.” By a 2-1 margin, over 500 people voted online and by phone to let us know how they felt. The result was 347 votes to continue publishing the information, and only 166 votes to discontinue the report.
The Mountain Advocate’s jail report originally began in response to the closing of the JailTracker website for the Knox County Detention Center several years ago. An online poll at the time revealed that over 80% of the Mountain Advocate’s readership wanted to see mugshots for those arrested in the past week. Shortly after the publication of the jail report began, JailTracker was brought back online in a more limited form, and currently remains active.
The information contained in the jail report is public record. All inmates are presumed innocent until proven guilty.