In Pennsylvania over 1500 felons, between January and March of this year, failed to have their criminal records history input in to the state database. This confirms that their details would not have registered when a background check was carried out. These details were confirmed by the PCCD as the U.S. Dept. of Justice has has awarded the organization a grant of $814,000 to improve and update it’s criminal records system and the technology used for record taking within police stations state wide.
A compliance rate of as near to 100% is the objective and to which the grant will improve and benefit the criminal records and background check system in Pennsylvania. With reference to the criminal records that support the background check queries it is often the case that data is not secured and/or the police departments do not have the technology to register the information.
The grant to overhaul the criminal records system will be distributed to 6 different counties and 10 state police sub stations. Live Scan Plus devices, that take finger prints and have the ability to write information to a state wide database. Each of these devices retail for around $37,000, confirms PCCD.
The Live Scan Plus is a multi functional tool which not only captures the finger print and palm biometrics but also a photograph is captured. In 2006 only 66% of those individuals convicted were actually finger printed by Pennsylvania law enforcement and police departments. Currently in 2015 this number is up to 89% but PCCD acknowledges there is still some room for improvements. The department commented that correct and a well defined policy over criminal records detail is paramount to the integrity of the background check relied on to ensure public safety.
In order to make informed decisions when hiring an employee or selling an individual a firearm access to well defined and current criminal records database is imperative. Decision makers should be empowered and emboldened to make decisions effectively without concerns over class actions and law suits.