National Child Protection Act

At one point, this blog mentioned the new National Child Protection Act which, pertaining to New York’s then purging criminal records of moderate drug criminals, seemed contradictory, especially as those with significant criminal histories shouldn’t be working with children, or those most vulnerable, like the elderly and disabled. The National Child Protection Act was first approved in 1993 but, recently, the law was amended to provide employers with more thorough background checks. When pertaining to former criminals trying to become employed, the law will affect their chances of working with the most vulnerable members of the public, as more thorough criminal background checks are going to be done in a state level.

While the link above is relevant to criminal background checks in Illinois, it applies to all states doing criminal background checks. Various occupations in which the employed person will be working with the public require a candidate to pass a background check. This means no criminal history above a misdemeanor and, even then, a misdemeanor puts a candidate’s employability in that position in question. One issue we have seen on a state level for background checks is a lack of national information on criminals. Generally, accessing an FBI criminal database to check on a candidate costs more than the $50 background check fee and, with a standard background checks, schools and nursing homes are left with a basic background check procedure that checks criminal records for all locations a candidate lists. But, in this instance, how do you know a candidate is being honest?

With this new amendment to the 1993 National Child Protection Act, employers in these fields will have easier access to nationwide criminal records databases. In this case, as we’ve seen before in background checks for teachers, the employer will be able to fingerprint the candidate and then the fingerprints will be matched electronically in a national criminal database, such as the database of national criminals the FBI manages.