Background Check Myth: The National Criminal Record Database

Contrary to TV crime dramas and Internet Ads, there is no such thing as a true National Criminal Record Database. Databases are compiled by private companies from a mishmash of prior background checks, county court records, state criminal record repositories, sex offender registries, prison systems, etc.

According to 1) Criminal records databases CAN NOT be relied upon as accurate or complete, 2) Private criminal databases CAN be valuable research tools to help cover a wider geographic area when searching for possible criminal records.

Database searches should only be used as supplements to the proper search of court  records. They should not be relied upon alone as viable criminal background checks.

Criminal record databases should only be used as research tools. Any indication of a possible criminal record in a database must be verified with the reporting jurisdiction.

Related Resources:
* Responsible Use of Criminal Records Database
* ‘Nationwide’ Criminal Database Checks
* Comprehensive Background Check: The Best Background Check
* Basic Background Check

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