Study on Hit Radio for Criminal Name Searches

In September 2011, the Public Record Retriever Network (PRRN – a study regarding the frequency of “hits” when performing name searches using the criminal record index found at the courthouse. For example, if 100 different names were searched onsite at the courthouse, how many of these names would reveal a criminal record?

The study was calculated on a state basis. Two questions were posed: 1) What is your normal range of hits at both the high and low ends? and 2) What is your overall average? There were 208 state responses.

Of course, one must keep in mind many factors help determine such a hit ratio, including:

Instructions from the client (CRA) regarding how far back to search.

If the client (CRA) asks for misdemeanor to be included in a search.

If the client (CRA) does a “pre-screen” – meaning if a search was first performed using an online resource (such as a statewide online source). Usually this leads to a higher hit ratio since the researcher is asked to predominantly find and verify the case files.

There may be differences from one county to the next within the same state, and this is a statewide study.

The full Study Results are found at under the tab 2011 Study on Criminal Record Hits. Printed with permission of PRRN

Posted Under: Public Records

Post By Barry Nixon (262 Posts)

W. Barry Nixon is the COO, the leading background screening information portal and online worldwide directory of professional background screening firms and Suppliers to the background screening industry. He co-authored the landmark book, Background Screening & Investigations: Managing Hiring Risk from the HR and Security Perspective. He also is the publisher of award winning newsletters, The Background Buzz and The Global Background Screener, and the author of the Background Checks column in PI Magazine.

In addition, Barry is a past recipient of the elite ‘Top 25 Influential People in Security’ by Security Magazine and past Co-Chair, International Committee for the National Association for Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS). He currently serves as a Global Ambassador for NAPBS.

You can contact Barry at 1-949-770-5264 or online at