Collection Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Record Group - Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Record Group

Identity area

Reference code

US US-almoca Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Record Group


Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Record Group


  • ca. 1878-1985 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Record Group Collection consist of 14 boxes measuring 76.41 linear feet.

Context area

Name of creator

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

This record group consists of records created by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office during the course of conducting normal business. This large collection primarily contains two types of records: inmate mugshots and logs documenting the processing of persons accused of committing various crimes. Inmate mugshots include those who took part in the 1953 Montgomery Bus Boycott, including Jo Ann Robinson and Rosa Parks. Inmate mugshots also include photographs of 1961 Freedom Riders arrested in Montgomery, Alabama. The logs documenting the intake of persons accused of a crime generally include the individual’s name,
race, age, sex, offense accused of, etc. The records listed under Administering Internal Operations-Managing the Agency; (9.03) Historical and Publicity Files; Box 1, folders 1-3, may serve as evidence of early convict-leasing in Montgomery County, Alabama. The folders’ titles, composed by another archivist, map a connection between the Montgomery County Alabama Sheriff’s Office, Dr. Robert Barber, and inmate labor in 1870 related to the Freeman’s Bend Plantation. Robert Barber served as the secretary of the 1868 convention to rewrite Alabama’s constitution. Further research is needed to uncover more information regarding
Barber, as well as Freeman’s Bend Plantation.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


Future accruals expected.

System of arrangement

The Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH) creates manuals called records disposition authorities (RDA) to help those responsible for state and local records in Alabama manage the records under their control. The RDAs evaluate records
produced by various government entities, such as the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, and determines what, and how long, archives have to keep various records. In the course of doing so, the RDAs group records based on their various functions. Accordingly, this finding aid has organized the records in the Montgomery County Commission Record Group based on the
function they helped serve, or that which created them.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Collection is open for use. In 2004 Terry L. Davis, Chief of Police in Boaz, Alabama, inquired to Alabama Attorney General Troy King if his office considered mugshots public records bail bonding companies could access. King’s office answered in the affirmative. Furthermore, in relation to the potential violation of privacy rights by allowing public access to criminal records under Alabama’s open records law, the Attorney General’s office cited Stone v. Consolidated Publishing Co. (404 So. 2d 678 [Ala. 1981]) in
which the Alabama Supreme Court ruled some exceptions to disclosure do exist: 1) recorded information received by a police officer in confidence 2)sensitive personal records 3) pending criminal investigations 4) records the disclosure of which would be detrimental to the best interests of the public. The records this collection currently do not match any of these exceptions. Furthermore the Attorney General’s office wrote in response to Davis’ query “This office has long recognized that the front side of an arrest report, not containing investigatory information, is a public record. Lastly, the Attorney General’s office also wrote that the Alabama Supreme Court liberally interprets statute 36-12-40 of the Code of Alabama, which provides for public access to public records. In Chambers v. Birmingham News Co., 552 So. 2d 854, 856 (Ala. 1989) the Alabama Supreme Court wrote “[i]t is clear from the wording of S 36-12-40 that the legislature intended that the statute be liberally construed. In addition, statutes intended for the public benefit are to be construed in favor of the public.”

Conditions governing reproduction

It is presumed corporate and individual copyrights have been retained by copyright owners. Copyright restrictions apply. Users of
materials should seek necessary permissions from the copyright holders to comply with U.S. copyright laws.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Physical copy could be found at Montgomery County Archives.

Allied materials area

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Existence and location of copies

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Notes area

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Description control area

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Accession area

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