Why, you may ask, is a “nationwide criminal background check” complete BS? For one thing, there is no such thing.
Last week we highlighted some warnings about online background check services, and the gaping holes that these services have.
What most of these services offer, including the one we highlighted, is a “nationwide criminal background check” which has even more holes than a donut shop.
Now the facts…
There are over 3,000 counties in the United States, many of which have multiple courthouses which maintain criminal records. The procedures to access these records vary, most of which can’t be accessed through a central repository. Even so, many of these courts have not yet digitized records making them completely inaccessible online.
There is no official count as to how many criminal records (arrests and/or convictions) are accessible online, but it’s pretty minuscule and spread across to many different systems, courts and repositories that it will make you want to pull out your hair just thinking about it.
“True” Nationwide Criminal Background Check
As we have discussed previously, there is only one “true” nationwide criminal background check in the U.S. today. The N.C.I.C. (National Criminal Information Center), which is a central repository for criminal record information that is available only to registered law enforcement agencies and related criminal justice organizations which is not available to the public.
Even so, there have been questions about the reliability and accuracy of the NCIC database so even if you did have access to it, it may not be the most comprehensive way to find criminal records.
If you are serious about conducting a “nationwide criminal background check”, here are some helpful links: