New Jersey facing incomplete compliance with new trustee screening law

As of last Friday, more than 400 school board and charter school trustee members across the state of New Jersey had yet to comply with the new school trustee screening law that went into effect in May. The law required people responsible for deciding local school policies and budgets undergo background checks by the end of  2011 or be immediately removed from office. Crimes that would bar someone from serving included murder, robbery, luring a child, assault and drug possession or distribution.

According to the state Education Department, 95 percent of the more than 4,700 school board members and 70 percent of charter school trustees in New Jersey had been screened since the law was signed in May. Twelve board members had been barred from serving after completing their background checks.

The new state law is an example of how the laws are changing across the country to make background checks and pre-employment screening more of a mandatory part of the position-filling process, whether someone is elected, hired or volunteers. Likewise, the fact that not everyone is in compliance with it after more than six months is a telling example of how some school districts, employers and others are still resistant to the process.

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Juniata College football coach allegedly allowed Sandusky access to team, despite failing background check

Last week we reported that former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, who is facing more than 50 criminal charges in a huge child sex abuse case, was turned down from volunteering at Juniata College in Pennsylvania after a routine background check turned up the fact that he was being investigated by a PA high school where he was a volunteer. That seemed to be a positive example of how background checks can work effectively to keep people, and children in particular, safe from predators.

However, disturbing new reports have now surfaced claiming that although Juniata College officials told the school’s football coach he was not to allow Sandusky to help out or be around the football team, the coach allegedly disregarded their repeated directives, allowing Sandusky access to all the players throughout the 2010 football season. According to Juniata football players who have come forward on condition of anonymity, Sandusky Tramadol Online attended every game, both home and away, and helped to coach from the press box.

Juniata’s football players say Sandusky was present at their practices as well. Though no students at Juniata College are alleging that any crimes took place at the hands of Sandusky, the reports do call into question the authority of school officials, and the judgment by the football coach who it seems put possible wins ahead of student safety.

Background checks are merely a tool to give employers, and those entrusted with the care of minors, the means to keep people and assets safe. If what is found during a background check is ignored, the safety of your employees, your organization and your children are at risk.  Let Juniata College be a reminder of the importance not just of performing background checks, but adhering to the warning signs that those checks dig up.

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Employment screening services tackle criminal record searches state by state, county by county

It would be super-convenient if there was some magical nationwide database that held every criminal record of every person ever arrested or convicted of a crime. Unfortunately, that database does not exist. While there are private databases that hold millions of records from all 50 states, none claim to have all records from all states. And while many states have adequate databases of the crimes committed by residents of their states, they do not include crimes committed by current state residents while they lived in other states.

Using these private databases can be a good back-up measure, a resource to use to double-check the background information gleaned Pokies from other sources. But they shouldn’t be considered an exhaustive search.

The smartest thing for an employer to do is to hire a professional employment screening service that can attack the background check process thoroughly and systematically. Gathering previous addresses and former names used by the applicant in the last 10 years is a good first step, that way criminal records can be found in all states, counties and towns where the applicant has resided in the last decade.

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A professional pre-employment screening service will take care of such details for you, and will therefore give you the most thorough and trustworthy results.

Kentucky Moves Toward More Thorough Background Checks for Health Care Workers

Looks like Kentucky is the latest state to move forward with the trend of ensuring thorough background checks for all employees working with its most vulnerable citizens. Gov. Steve Beshear said a $3 million grant will establish a comprehensive statewide system for thorough background checks.

Right now, Kentucky state law requires long-term care facilities to conduct only name-based background checks for their prospective employees. This new grant, however, will help the Cabinet for Health and Family Services buy live scan equipment to obtain digital fingerprints that will be used for both in-state and FBI criminal background checks. That will allow officials to perform more in-depth employment screening of applicants seeking employment in the state’s many health-related fields where patients are vulnerable and susceptible to abuse, fraud and other crimes.

The move in Kentucky is just one of several similar initiatives across the country, as state officials and private employers deem it necessary to ensure everyone’s safety by conducting thorough pre-employment screening policies as well as drug testing for prospective and current employees.

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Transportation Security Officials Rigorously Background Checked According to TSA

There’s been a huge hubbub (fueled by home video of children being “mishandled” by staff apparently unaccustomed to working with kids) recently over the new airport security procedures, specifically those involving “pat-downs”.  Consequently, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has begun a publicity campaign to assure fliers that the screeners have been thoroughly background checked.

According to the TSA, all persons who are given the authority to “pat down” fliers have to undergo and pass a criminal background check.  This includes being fingerprinted and cross-referenced with FBI files. 

Disqualification for an airport screening job could include having a felony on one’s record (especially one that relates to a sexual offense), among other crimes for which the would-be employee has been convicted.

Our questions to you are as follows:

What kind of background checks would you want to make sure an airport screener undergoes?  And how often do you believe he/she should have to undergo those types of background checks to ensure the safety of fliers?

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First-Time Indiana Health Care Workers May Pay for Background Checks

New legislation has been introduced in Indiana which could make a huge impact on the health care market.

If the legislation passes, health care workers who are entering the field for the first time and therefore seeking state licenses will be required to pay for their own background checks.

As with most bills of this nature, the impetus for the legislation came from several incidents in which health care workers’ prior criminal convictions had not been revealed to employers.  Eventually, those health care workers committed crimes again and the problem was brought to light.

The proposed Indiana legislation would cover numerous types of health care workers — nurses, dentists, doctors — but the exact titles have not yet been disclosed.

No word has been given as to whether or not the bill would necessitate over a quarter million of the state’s already-employed health care workers to pay for background checks in order to renew their state licenses.

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