Criminal Record Backgrounding the Focus of New SEARCH Report

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The Report of the National Task Force on the Criminal Backgrounding of America is now available on the SEARCH Website. This groundbreaking report provides law- and policy makers with a series of recommendations and other information to assist in the crafting of laws, policies and procedures governing America's burgeoning background check culture.

During four meetings held over a 12-month period in 2004 and 2005, the task force considered various aspects of criminal background checks in an attempt to bring clarity to processes through which criminal histories are used to determine suitability for certain jobs, licenses and other opportunities.

The task force report provides recommendations on appropriate levels of access to criminal record data, completeness and accuracy of records, privacy and social safeguards, and on a national training campaign to educate the public on terminology, concepts and laws surrounding criminal record backgrounding.

Task force members represented a wide range of participants in the criminal record check process, from federal and state justice agencies, public and private providers of background check services and subject matter experts to end-users from the public and private sectors and from volunteer organizations.

The task force was co-chaired by SEARCH Members Donna Uzzell (FL) and Kent Markus (At Large). Other SEARCH Members on the task force were Robert Armstrong (CO, now retired); Francis X. Aumand (VT, SEARCH Chair); Dr. Alfred Blumstein (At Large); Barry LaCroix (MA); Mike Lesko (TX); Liane Moriyama (HI); and Georgene Ramming (AZ).