Booking | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Introduction 

Booking is the process of identifying, searching, and charging a person before they are admitted to jail.

Booking is an essential process in the criminal justice system, which involves several important steps, including identifying, searching, and charging an individual before they are admitted to jail. The purpose of booking is to create a record of the person’s arrest, obtain basic information about them, and ensure that they are safely and appropriately processed into the criminal justice system.

The first step in the booking process is to identify the person who has been arrested. This involves obtaining their name, date of birth, and other identifying information, such as their social security number or driver’s license. Law enforcement officials may also take fingerprints or photographs of the person for identification purposes.

The next step in the booking process is to search the person for any weapons, drugs, or other contraband that they may be carrying. This is done to ensure the safety of the individual, as well as the safety of others in the jail. If any contraband is found, it may be confiscated and held as evidence.

Once the person has been identified and searched, they will be charged with any applicable crimes. The charges will be based on the evidence collected during the arrest, as well as any statements made by the person or witnesses to the incident.

After the person has been charged, they will be processed into the jail system. This involves obtaining additional information, such as the person’s address and contact information, and creating a record of their arrest and charges. The person will also be given a unique identification number, which will be used to track their progress through the criminal justice system.

Booking is an important process because it ensures that individuals who have been arrested are properly identified, charged, and processed into the criminal justice system. It also provides a record of the person’s arrest and charges, which can be used as evidence in court.

Booking can also be a stressful and intimidating process for the person being arrested, as they may not fully understand what is happening or what their rights are. It is important for law enforcement officials to treat the person with respect and to explain the process to them in a clear and concise manner.

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Last Modified: 04/06/2023

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