Crime Smasher
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The term “criminal background check” is a general term that means different things to different people. To a police detective with access to powerful state and federal law enforcement databases, it means a comprehensive summary of all arrests, convictions and other contacts with the criminal justice system. To a licensed private investigator, it may mean a more limited but carefully crafted review of available public records. To a member of the public, it may mean something else altogether.

This special report seeks to put forth in plain language the elements of a private sector criminal background check and to discuss some of the pitfalls inherent to using Internet-based criminal record services. It concludes with a model criminal background check and final remarks on the use and limitations of online criminal record sources like Crime Smasher.

Summary of Available Data Sources for Private Sector Criminal Background Checks

Pitfall 1: Data Blind Spots in Internet-based Criminal Record Searches and the Myth of “Nationwide” Criminal Background Checks

Pitfall 2: Use of Personal Identifiers to Verify Identity of Offenders

Pitfall 3: Criminal Background Checks for Employers: Legal Considerations

The Importance of Redundancy in Records Checking

Model Private Sector "Best Practices" Criminal Background Check

Conclusion: The Role of Internet-based Criminal Record Searches

About the Author and Disclaimer





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