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State Level Criminal Background Checks
Hiring managers assessing employment applicants without complete information are at a disadvantage. Missing information about an applicant could result in hiring someone with a criminal history. Individuals with a criminal background leave businesses vulnerable to increased risk for endangering employees, customers, and company assets. Employers who hire individuals with a criminal history may also face negligent hiring lawsuits.
State level background checks are an effective way to mitigate these risks. Statewide background checks broaden the area covered by the criminal history records search. This is important because applicants may have lived in multiple jurisdictions within a state or may not have included their complete address history. By casting a wider net beyond county level searches, hiring managers can reduce the chances of missing any criminal records.
The key element in a quality state level background check is the degree of comprehensiveness. There are very few sources of criminal history information that are truly statewide in scope. Therefore, it is essential to understand the sources for a statewide criminal records search and what information they can generate.
Statewide Criminal Record Searches
The sources used for statewide criminal records searches vary. Statewide criminal records can be searched via government repositories or privately-operated databases. Both sources of information have both advantages and limitations.
Many states have created a central repository for housing criminal records as reported by county courts. However, these repositories depend on information from county courts and law enforcement agencies that may be backlogged in reporting to the central repository.
Some states provide extensive criminal record information while others are more limited in nature. Certain repositories do not include all the counties or courts in a state, and others only include particular levels of offenses, such as felonies.
Additionally, some corrections databases only contain records on current prison inmates or individuals serving sentences in state prison. Their records may be incomplete due to limited date ranges or provide fewer details than county court records.
There may also be a considerable lag time between the availability of county records and their entry into a state repository. Additionally, repositories may not be consistently or frequently updated.
Some background screening services rely on databases operated by private companies to conduct their criminal record searches. These databases also have limitations. They may not have accurate or updated records. They may only include felonies and not misdemeanors, which, in some cases, can be equally important to hiring managers.
Therefore, a statewide background screening must include a comprehensive review of all available statewide sources. Where available and reliable, a statewide search is an affordable way to expand the scope of your background check, scanning all counties in a state for the price of one.
InfoMart Provides Quality Statewide Criminal Background Checks
When a client requests a statewide criminal background check, InfoMart uses the best available sources for each state. We conduct routine audits of each state’s record repository, reviewing the timeliness and accuracy of county reporting, special form requirements, turnaround time, and other important factors. Using a proprietary scoring method, we then determine if the state level records check meets our standards and is deemed a reliable statewide search. Results are verified with local jurisdictions to ensure the highest level of accuracy. Beyond a state’s central repository, criminal record information may be obtained from judicial systems, offender registries, or a state’s Department of Corrections.
In order to provide the most complete information possible, InfoMart carefully reviews criminal records for any alternate names, and factors in multiple addresses where an applicant lived over a seven year period.
InfoMart compiles the results of our criminal records search into a detailed report for human resource managers. The results of statewide criminal background checks are also readily accessible via InfoMart’s web-based applicant tracking system, WebASAP. This expedites the applicant recruiting and screening process without compromising quality, accuracy, or security.
Use InfoMart’s reliability logic or your own statewide search preferences to substitute statewide searches for selected county level searches and ensure a complete, consistent criminal history program. InfoMart’s state level background checks equip hiring managers with relevant information about an applicant’s criminal history that can be used to assess whether they are eligible or appropriate for an available position.
InfoMart’s approach to statewide criminal record searches gives companies peace of mind in knowing they have the most comprehensive set of information available to assess job applicants. State level background checks contribute to employee safety, regulatory compliance, and protecting a company’s brand.