In September 2011, the Public Record Retriever Network (PRRN – www.prrn.us)conducted 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 www.prrn.us under the tab 2011 Study on Criminal Record Hits. Printed with permission of PRRN