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The Case for Reforming Criminal Background Checks for Employment

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posted on Dec, 28 2014 @ 12:26 AM
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In calif they can not ask about misdemeanor convictions. and the state will Not release them for background checks.

But companies in calif have found a way around that by going through the cops in the state of Nevada.

Nevada police departments make big money doing this for companies in calif.




posted on Dec, 28 2014 @ 03:46 PM
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I am of the opinion that so much personal information should not be available so freely, but that is not really an argument I'm going to make in this post. Suffice it to say that at the very least such information should not be used against a potential employee. One could argue that background checks are needed so that dangerous criminals aren't brought into the work environment, but here are my arguments to this: first, if they truly are dangerous criminals then they probably would be in prison. If they were let out of prison then they have served their sentence, and their debt to society has been paid. It should no longer be held against them. If they owed any more to society they would have been imprisoned for a longer period of time. That is how our justice system works, whether one agrees with it or not, and a system like I'm describing would be in keeping with our system of justice. You cannot send a criminal to jail and tell them this is their punishment, then have them take their punishment, and then continue to punish them after they've served their sentence. Where is the justice in that? That sounds more like vindictiveness or revenge, and such things should have no place in any modern justice system. Another problem I have is the fact that judges let too much of their personal beliefs come into play, but again this is another matter. The system could be much more balanced and fair.

My next point is that the vast majority of the criminals applying for jobs are non-violent offenders who are victims of state and federal government oppression. The fact that they were imprisoned would likely have no bearing on their work behavior. There are people going away for decades for marijuana charges for instance, even though the majority of the population disagrees with such a substance even being illegal. Yet such non-violent "criminals" are thought of in the same manner as any other criminal. And that is not even mentioning all of these people who truly were innocent, yet were wrongly imprisoned, who served time that was not theirs, and who are trying to rebuild the lives that were stolen from them. I cannot stress enough that once a sentence is served, the slate should be wiped clean to all but those within the justice system. One stupid mistake made by a young person, especially a crime initiated without any ill intent, has haunted numerous individuals throughout their lives. This is unacceptable to me. Our justice system lumps together individuals of different calibers where criminality is concerned.

Another relevant point is the fact that when a true hardcore criminal gets out of jail they will either go back to crime or will take a legitimate route. This is not including working on Wall Street, where the bounds of criminal conduct and legal conduct merge into a very murky gray area. If these guys wanted to continue their criminal activity, yet did not wish to get caught, they could simply get a degree in finance and go to work on Wall Street. But I digress. So if they were going to continue their criminal activity they would probably not be trying to get a legitimate job. Unless they were required to of course. But if that were the case they probably would not be breaking any laws at their job, but none of this really matters. More important are those other arguments I've listed.

In closing I feel that too much emphasis is placed on criminal background checks, because they are not going to be an accurate reflection of the person applying for a job. I can understand not wanting to have a violent criminal around, but how many people have opportunities taken away for non-violent crimes? It is not as if employers are going to be a judge of the crimes committed, as they are going to simply deny any applications from a criminal in the majority of cases. Those non-violent offenders most definitely should not have their lives hampered to such a degree, especially when their crimes hurt no one, and they have paid their societal debt. And again I will reiterate that paying that debt is the most important part of punishment, but when that debt is paid there is no longer a negative balance.



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