An integral part of a company’s business, aside from the business itself, is the employee. And for this reason, companies are not taking chances in hiring just any individual that fits the criteria stated in the job description. Your background as a citizen of your country is also one factor that affects your prospects in landing a job.
Criminal records that are free to the public are also free to companies who wish to perform a little check on your personal background. This might seem a little intrusive to you and it’s no wonder because it is intrusive. But in today’s mobile society, the benefits of free to the public access to personal information such as criminal records can outlay the dangers of privacy invasion.
Employers have a legitimate need to check on your criminal records that are free to the public and you, yourself, have a right to a safer working environment by having co-workers who have clean “slates” or have no record of past criminal offenses. However, no matter how legitimate the need may be, there are laws that restrict access to criminal records that are free to the public. In most cases, the definition of public information usually involves data that may also be categorized under “personal” and in this regard, the individual reserves the right to keep privacy.
Perhaps the largest database of criminal records, profiles, and the like is the FBI database, called the National Crime Information Center or NCIC. This database contains all criminal records of nearly every single individual in every state of county within the United States. However, the information available from the FBI database is not free to the public, nor is it accessible to just anyone. In fact, only those who work for criminal justice agencies can access data from the NCIC and even then, proper verification procedure is observed.
So how do you, a regular person who does not work for any criminal justice agency, get hold of the criminal records of somebody that you met and wish to know more? Or how does a company who has no associations whatsoever with a criminal justice agency, research more on a prospective hire by accessing criminal records that are free to the public?
No problem. The Internet, known as the information super-highway, provides you with a rich source of criminal records that are free to the public. There are countless websites out there that offer criminal records and other sorts of public information that are free to the public. Most of the information that you’re getting from these online databases are taken from local, parochial, county, or state registries. Currently, up to 22 states keep online databases of criminal records that are free to the public.
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