Mugshots taken of those apprehended in the celebrity college bribery scandal will likely not be made public.

USA Today reports the Department of Justice and the U.S. Marshals Services took mugshots of Lori Loughlin, Felicity Huffman and the other wealthy parents who allegedly bribed their children's way into elite colleges but will keep them under lock and key.

Officials for the two law enforcement agencies say it is department policy to keep mugshots confidential unless the public’s help is needed apprehending a suspect. As Loughlin and the others have already been arrested, DOJ and Marshals spokespeople said there’s no need to publish the pictures.

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According to the Wrap, mugshots of those arrested by federal law enforcement sometimes make their way into the public domain due to leaks at the state and local level.

The U.S. Marshals, for instance, don’t have jails to keep suspects awaiting their bond hearings. Local jails will often take mugshots as part of their processing procedures, and these photos do not fall under federal mugshot release guidelines. It is photos taken by local law enforcement that are sometimes released to area news outlets or even to national tabloids. 

It isn’t clear whether Loughlin, Huffman and their alleged confederates were held at a local facility with a generous mugshot release policy. The DOJ and Marshals have refused to disclose where they were held. Given the photos have yet to surface, however, it is unlikely the facility or facilities that kept the accused will release any mugshots. 

The public can sometimes access federal records using the Freedom of Information Act through what are known as FOIA requests. Mugshots are exempt from FOIA requests; a 2016 U.S. Supreme Court case barred citizens’ access to the photos using FOIA requests except in cases in which some urgent legal need could be proved, according to Politico.  

So, although we’ve seen Jussie Smollett’s and R. Kelly’s mugshots, we probably will never see the mugshots of the men and women facing charges in the college admissions scandal. 


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