With high levels of ex-convicts re-offending, it is only prudent that you run a background check on people in circumstances mentioned earlier. However, running a background check may not be as easy as it sounds. You can try the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ website which provides inmate locator service for a nominal fee and it is able to provide information of federal inmates incarcerated in the federal prisons since 1982. However, when using the inmate locater service, be aware that a person may have a record in the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ database but never serve a sentence of incarceration. For instance, the person may have been detained during pre-trial but charges were later dismissed. For state and local inmates, you can check someone’s criminal records from the public records departments at your local county but such search is only limited within each respective county or city. Criminal conviction records from a different county, city or state will not be available from your local public records departments.
Another hurdle faced when conducting a background check is that in certain states, you need the person’s date of birth and social security number before you are permitted to perform a search. Whereas for employers, due to red tape and legislative restriction, an employer cannot check a person’s criminal records unless permission is obtained from the potential employee.
How do you avoid the red tape or obstacles and check on someone’s background. The solution is by using an online background check. There are a few companies that provide nationwide public records databases online in which you can conduct online criminal records check. Obviously you need some basic information of the person you’re checking on. The accuracy and reliability of criminal records extracted from these databases depend on the basic information you input into the databases. If the name of the person you check reveals that he or she had a criminal record, do not jump to conclusion and make sure you double check the information to make sure that it is the right person.