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Springfield school district now requires teachers to report arrests

HandcuffsThe school staff in Springfield, Missouri is going to be subject to a subtle but important policy change soon that has to do with their criminal records. The newly proposed policy would require all staff working on school property to immediately report any arrest or criminal action as soon as it occurs. In fact, not reporting an arrest or conviction right away would result in a termination of employment. [Read more...]

Florida loopholes allow juvenile offenses to become public

StressPublic records in in the United States are a hot button topic; nearly every single day new laws are drawn up, scrapped, and voted on that seek to alter access to criminal histories in one way or another.  Recently, the extent to which potential employers can question applicants about their criminal pasts has undergone scrutiny and found itself very much the focus of a national debate.  Now, a new issue is taking the spotlight in the ever-exciting state of Florida:  the criminal records of youths. [Read more...]

Louisiana event helps people get their records expunged

Erase CrimeThe laws surrounding how to get a criminal record sealed or expunged are often extremely intricate.  For many who are trying to get their lives back together, this can present a near insurmountable barrier, especially if they don’t have the funds to acquire legal help navigating the red tape.  In Louisiana, the complexity of such laws is no exception, and the Justice and Accountability Center has something to say about it.

Last year, they helped nearly 1,000 people, through a combination of event days and scheduled appointments, learn if they were eligible for record expungement and, if so, how to go about doing it. [Read more...]

NY colleges stop asking applicants about criminal records

Background Check RequestFor a long time, the debate has raged on over what employers should be able to ask or not ask applicants about their history with criminal activity, when in the process such information should be unearthed, and what exactly counts; convictions? Sure. What about arrests? Well, there it starts to get a bit blurry. [Read more...]

Criminal records pivotal in undercover operations in North Carolina

HandcuffsIn a suburb outside of Jacksonville, NC, an undercover operation known as Operation Pill Crusher has been underway for some time. The operation, if not running under a slightly cheesy name, has proven itself effective if nothing else. The arrest count has now moved into the triple digits as over 100 suspects have been arrested, and are awaiting prosecution. Of these, 80+ have been formally charged. [Read more...]

Levi’s Stadium fight exposes problems with justice system in California

Scales of JusticeA recent fight at Levi’s Stadium, home of the San Francisco’s 49ers, left at least one man in the hospital.  Authorities were led to two perpetrators after a cell phone video of the incident was uploaded to Youtube.  Youtube, citing a policy violation, has since taken the video down, but not before police were able to use the footage to aid in their investigation. [Read more...]

Background checks reveal issues with candidates in Miami suburb

PaperThe Miami Herald recently performed a series of background checks of candidates on the ballot seeking election next month in the city. David Zisman, a Palmetto Bay Village Council Candidate has two bankruptcies under his belt. His platform has been touting his business experience and leadership. [Read more...]

People with criminal records can now become CNAs in California

ApprovedIt has been a long battle for those with a criminal record in California looking for a job. One significant obstacle to employment has recently been removed. Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law that stops a policy in healthcare that bars those with a past conviction – even those with non-violent offenses – from receiving a certified nursing assistant license. [Read more...]

California Proposition 47 will reduce penalties for some crimes

VoteThis November, Californians will get to decide if they want to reduce the penalties for certain crimes in their state to misdemeanors. Proposition 47 is on the ballot and will reduce most “nonserious, nonviolent crimes like petty theft and drug possession” to a misdemeanor instead of a felony. [Read more...]

Revised open records law not always enforced in Rhode Island

Sealed RecordsA report released by Access/RI shows that in the two years since Rhode Island changed its open records law, enforcement of the law has been less than stellar.

Access/RI is an alliance of First Amendment advocates and MuckRock, a group that works with journalists to secure and analyze public records. They show execution of the updated rules is extremely rare. [Read more...]