The Conversation: How tattoos became fashionable in Victorian England. “…we carried out the largest analysis of tattoos ever undertaken, examining 75,688 descriptions of tattoos, on 57,990 convicts in Britain and Australia from 1793 to 1925. We used data-mining techniques to extract information embedded within broader descriptive fields of criminal records, and we linked this information with extensive evidence about the personal characteristics and backgrounds of our subjects. Because the meanings of tattoos are often so difficult to fathom, we used visualisations to identify patterns of use and juxtapositions of particular designs.” This new database of tattoos is one of the new datasets from Digital Panopticon. There’s another new feature that lets you search convicts by occupation.
Monash University: Conviction politics: How convicts shaped Australian democracy. “Convicts aren’t often celebrated for their contribution to the nation’s progressive political traditions, and that’s something Associate Professor Tony Moore, Monash historian and head of Communications and Media Studies, is trying to change…. Dr Moore has received an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant of $757,205, together with cash contributions from industry partners of $310,000, to raise awareness of our convict legacy. The work partly involves coding, analysing and visualising recently digitised convict archives.”
Des Moines Register: EXCLUSIVE: ‘This is wrong’: Iowa’s flawed felon list is disqualifying legitimate voters for years. “Jessica Bensley can legally carry a pistol in public — in part because she has never been convicted of a felony. But last year, Bensley somehow ended up on Iowa’s felon list. Because Iowa law doesn’t allow felons to vote, the Polk County Auditor’s Office, in turn, rejected the ballot she cast in November. Iowa’s mistake cost Bensley her constitutional right to vote. And she wasn’t the only one.”
WHIO: Convicted of buying sex? Dayton will tell your neighbors via Facebook.. “If you are convicted of buying sex from a prostitute in the city of Dayton, city officials are going to do their best to make sure your neighbors know about it … in 21st century style. The city of Dayton will begin buying specially targeted Facebook advertisements linked to the addresses of men who buy sex. The ads will tell people that one of their neighbors has been convicted and will give them a link to a web site listing the men’s names, addresses and crimes.”
Route Fifty: A California Court Finds Social Media Posts Aren’t a First Amendment Right. “Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Packingham v. North Carolina that social media platforms are the new ‘public square,’ and access to them is protected by the First Amendment, which guarantees free speech. But that doesn’t necessarily mean there are no limitations on how social media can be used when an ex-convict is on probation. For example, a California state appeals court just found in AA v. The People that a ‘narrowly tailored’ limit on social media use for a juvenile on probation—in this case for a felony offense—was legal for rehabilitation purposes and to protect a crime victim.”
National Institute of Corrections: New Council of State Governments Web Tool Provides Look at Legal, Regulatory Restrictions Against People who have Criminal Convictions. “The new National Inventory of Collateral Consequences of Conviction resource (link is external), launched today – October 31, 2018 by the National Reentry Resource Center and The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center, compiles thousands of state and federal statutes into a searchable database, making it easier to identify these obscure regulations that can be triggered by a particular conviction.”