Employers and state occupation licensing boards often depend on states’ criminal record repositories as primary resources when performing a criminal record background check. However, these entities may not realize that a search of these record repositories may not be as accurate and complete as assumed, regardless if fingerprints are submitted. There are three key reasons why the completeness, consistency, and accuracy of state criminal record repositories could be suspect: Timeliness of Receiving Arrest and Disposition Data; Timeliness of Entering Arrest and Disposition Data into the Repository; and Inability to Match Dispositions with Existing Arrest Records. The basis for these concerns is supported by documented facts provided by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). Every two years the DOJ’s Bureau of Justice Statistics releases an extensive Survey of State Criminal Record Repositories.

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