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What Do I Need to Supply for a Background Check?

You need to have an organizational plan on what to do with the information before you receive it. Some organizations call this their "screening threshold. Emotions may rule at that point, and if so, consistency in the process is hard to attain. Set your thresholds now. Discuss what your organization is willing to tolerate in past history. For example, would you hire someone with a drug-related misdemeanor from seven years ago?

By setting the thresholds before screening, you can assure fairness in your hiring process. Many organizations have asked for assistance in setting their thresholds. Check with your state law first. Then consider that the partners in the PROTECTScreen pilot have identified the following as cause for concern with staff working with youth: felony, drug conviction, crimes against children, acts of cruelty or violence, sexually-related crime, cruelty to animals, and other acts specific to a position such as embezzlement. Then discuss with your attorney to develop your own thresholds. This brief article has attempted to introduce you to the intricacies of criminal background checking in America.

Since this is such a complex topic, ACA has created an online course to help. The following is a review of the other resources mentioned in this article:. The CampLine is ACA's newsletter, providing camp-specific knowledge on legal, legislative, and risk management issues.

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Criminal Background Checks for Staff and Volunteers. May As you consider what your organization will do to check potential staff and volunteers, you may have a number of questions, such as: What does the law in my state require me to do regarding background checks? What kind of criminal background check should I perform?

What information is included in a criminal background check, and what might be "left out"? Are fingerprint-based checks better than name-based checks? If I hire a company to help me, how do I know how to choose the one that will give me the most complete and accurate information? State Laws First and foremost, at a minimum you must adhere to any state laws governing criminal background checks and your program.

Background Checks Sample Clauses

Definition A criminal background check is a process of looking into the history of an individual to determine whether they have a criminal record. Name-based checks have inherent weaknesses: The individual could provide a false name and Social Security number. In fact, according to the National Mentoring Partnership, over 1 percent of the 45 million individuals in the FBI criminal database have used over aliases and false Social Security numbers. Females may have two or more different last names if they have been married.

Criminal databases can have mistakes in the spelling of an individual's name and other relevant information. Because of common names, "false positives" may arise — in other words, a check might come back with criminal records, but they actually belong to another individual with the same or similar name.

Fingerprint-based check : A fingerprint-based check uses fingerprints taken from an individual to identify that individual and to match any possible criminal records. Fingerprints are a form of "biometric-based" identification. That is, fingerprints are unique to the biology of every individual. Currently, the only way to assure the identity of an individual is through fingerprinting. Other biometric-based checks : While the technology is not widely available, there are other ways in addition to fingerprints to determine the identity of an individual in order to match any possible criminal records.

These methods will increase in the future and include methods such as retinal scans and DNA extraction. It contains over million arrest and conviction records concerning over 45 million individuals. All records are fingerprint-based. The database contains all federal crimes plus approximately 70 — 90 percent of each state's criminal databases. Low-level misdemeanors, driving citations, and DUIs make up the portion of state records that are generally not present in the FBI database. While it would seem reasonable that all youth-serving organizations should have access to the FBI database to perform checks on people who are working with children, thirty-seven states specifically bar access.

Drug tests and background checks are becoming less important to employers. Here's why

Because states are the gatekeepers for criminal background information, state law determines your access. ACA is working with other partners to change this situation. The Child Protection Improvements Act mentioned above is our effort to provide you with access. More information is available online at ACA's Web site. State Background Checks : These checks include only the crimes committed within that state. These background checks are obtained through a state agency the agency varies from state to state.

Some states allow fingerprint-based checks, some only allow name-based checks, and some offer both types for different fees. Most state checks also include arrests, but a few include only convictions. Background checks of a county or local jurisdiction are obtained through the local police or sheriff's department.

Private background checks are generally name-based. There are two basic methods that these private vendors use for providing background checks: Some vendors search county record repositories for the county of residence for the past three to five years sometimes longer. Other vendors maintain databases of criminal records, often searchable online.

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Some of these vendors advertise their background checks as national in scope. However, most often, these databases actually only provide "multi-state" information. These vendors buy their criminal data from the states. But, many states have strong privacy laws, so they do not sell any criminal data. Other states sell only a portion of their data for example, parole records — but not the full conviction or arrest files.

Driver's License Check : This check would catch any tickets, citations, or convictions related to poor driving, including DUIs.