It’s official now. The US has the highest per capita incarceration rate in the world according to a very recent report from the Department of Justice. More than 2 million people were in jail at year-end 2006, an all-time high, not including those who are on probation, parole, rehabilitation or have already served out their sentence. And that’s looking at hard crimes alone. What about other run-ins with the law where offenders are not put behind bars?
When it comes to completeness in checking violation of law or regulation, an excellent resource is found in Public Police Records. It is different from Criminal Records in that it is not just about crime and conviction. Anytime you have any interaction or engagement with the police, it will likely go into your police records. Although public police records are tasked differently from state to state, it generally means all reports recorded by police, including complaints and requests submitted by the public. This inherently implies that anything that is not in norm or order is deemed to be under police charter. Some prominent enforcement-related features in police records are arrest, driving violations, violence, sex offenses, gangs, drugs fraud and public disturbance. Other informative type data are also listed for example firearms permit, traffic accidents, address history, family members, lost and found, missing person, property and so forth.
Police record checks are conducted chiefly in employment screening and volunteering assessment. However, the laws governing the use of the information derived from such checks are strict and serious. Lawyers and experts are often required to determine the permissible and proper application of the police record search results in such contexts. For one thing, consent from the subject must be secured in order to initiate a search. While there is Freedom to Information Act, there are also privacy rights and discrimination protection provisions.
A police record report can also be used as a ‘good conduct’ or ‘no criminal record’ certification. Such a clearance document may be required abroad for further studies, child adoption, employment, residency or even sports and arts events. Local police departments are tasked with the procedure of running a crime record background check and issue the report in accordance with it. They have authority and liberty to construct the document to reflect the subject in a manner they deem fit and appropriate. After all, a favorable police record report is not worth the paper it’s printed on without its official authentication.
Police records are available free of charge but they are generally scattered all over different states, if not counties. It can be quite onerous and time-consuming to assemble the findings too. That perhaps is why paid service for this purpose is generally opted. Charges are typically nominal and great value can be found if you know where to look.