Criminal history checks are now used by 90% of businesses. The background check industry has enjoyed little to no regulation until now, although they have ruined the lives of many, many people because of sloppy work (misspelling names, listing the same crime multiple times, etc.).
Background checks falling short
July 27, 2013, Washington Post
Twenty states say that as many as 30 percent of their case files do not include a final ruling, making it unclear whether someone who was arrested was convicted. Because African Americans make up 13 percent of the U.S. population but 28 percent of all arrests, some advocates say the inaccuracy of case files puts higher numbers of African Americans at risk when applying for jobs that require background checks. Overall, the number of FBI background checks for employers has increased six fold since 2002. Read story….
Growing use of FBI screens raises concerns about accuracy, racial bias
July 29, 2013, Washington Post
Employers are increasingly turning to the FBI’s criminal databases to screen job applicants, sparking concerns about the accuracy of the agency’s information and the potential for racial discrimination.
Many of the FBI’s records list only arrests and not the outcomes of those cases, such as convictions. Consumer groups say that missing information often results in job applicants who are wrongfully rejected. A lawsuit filed against the Commerce Department by minorities alleges that the use of incomplete databases means that African Americans and Hispanics are denied work in disproportionate numbers.
Two companies accused of discrimination in hiring
June 11, 2013, Washington Post
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Tuesday accused two major companies of indirectly discriminating against African Americans by using criminal background checks to screen out workers.
Why Is No One Fighting for the Voting Rights of Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners?
July 31, 2013, The Guardian
Felon voting rights have a bigger impact on elections and are even more racialized than voter I.D. laws.
…Compare this to the United States where most states prohibit felons from voting. The two states that allow it are Maine and Vermont. These two states also happen to be the whitest states in the nation. Another 13 states and the District of Columbia allow felons on parole to vote. Most of these 13 states have incredibly small black populations such as Montana, New Hampshire, and Utah. An additional four states allow those on probation to vote. Nineteen states allow voting once release is final. And the real kicker is that 12 states stop felons from voting permanently if they don’t meet certain requirements. …