News Article

A Captive Audience: Live Jail Cam

Crime.com offers a direct view into the lives of Arizona prisoners

This isn't your father's Survivor — but it may have to do until the second Survivor hits the airwaves. In July, Crime.com introduced the titillating Live Jail Cam on its website, where you can watch guards search detainees, for example, or occasionally see what the site calls ''sexually inappropriate behavior.''

Civil liberties advocates immediately blasted Jail Cam for compromising prisoners' privacy. ''The argument of rights violation is bulls---,'' counters John Langley, who helps run Crime.com and is best known as producer of TV's COPS. ''It's a matter of public record.'' Besides, people seem to love it. It registers 2.5 million hits daily and has attracted numerous (mostly positive) emails from around the world.

The Jail Cam streams from Arizona's Maricopa County prison. Now, says an unapologetic Sheriff Joe Arpaio, ''people walking in for soliciting prostitution can wave to their wives.''

Originally posted Sep 15, 2000 Published in issue #559 Sep 15, 2000 Order article reprints
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