WSJ: Many Americans Can't Shake Arrest Record, Harming Job Chances

Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 09:45 AM

By Elliot Jager

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Practically a third of Americans have an arrest record, even if no charges were brought, which can create problems when looking for work and housing, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Most employers conduct criminal background checks on job applicants. With more police making more arrests, and with the Internet providing easy access to the criminal database, Americans are learning that the stigma of rap sheet is hard to shake.

In response to rising crime levels in the 1980s and 1990s police followed a zero tolerance approach for even minor infractions. Crime went down and more serious offenses were probably deterred, law enforcement authorities say. Now, the FBI criminal database contains some 77.7 million names amounting to one out of three adults. Thousands of new names are added daily, according to the Journal.

A University of South Carolina study found that some 40 percent of men had been arrested by age 23. Among African Americans the rate was 49 percent, for Hispanics 44 percent, and for whites 38 percent. Almost 20 percent of women have also been arrested by the age of 23. Forty-seven percent of people arrested were not convicted, the Journal reported.

Individuals who want to prove that their arrests were for minor offenses or that charges were not brought find it's not easy doing so. Moreover, half of the FBI database is out of date, the Journal reported.

Precious Daniels of Detroit was unable to secure a job with the Census Bureau because a background check turned up that she has been arrested at a healthcare demonstration. She could not locate legal documents to prove that the charges were dropped. Daniels is part of a class action suit, along with thousands of other African Americans, charging the bureau with racial discrimination, the Journal reported.

Jose Gabriel Hernandez was arrested at home for sexually assaulting two girls. Authorities admitted that they had arrested the "wrong Jose Hernandez" and all charges were dropped, the Journal reported

He is still paying down the debt to the bondsman on a nonrefundable $22,500 fee for putting-up his bail money. It is Hernandez's responsibility to see to it that the arrest is expunged. To do that he would need to engage a lawyer to arrange for the local court to notify the FBI that his arrest record should be deleted, the Journal reported.

Meanwhile, a new California law prohibits websites from charging residents for removing mug shot arrest photos from the Internet. But a report by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers says that the "growing obsession with background checking and commercial exploitation of arrest and conviction records makes it all but impossible for someone with a criminal record to leave the past behind," the Journal reported.

Related Stories:

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Wash. Examiner's York: Will Obama Defy Congress on Gitmo?

Monday, 22 Dec 2014 22:33 PM

President Barack Obama is again talking about closing the U.S. terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay Cuba, whic . . .

Jan Brewer on Obama: 'Not Very Nice' and 'Big Disappointment'

Monday, 22 Dec 2014 22:26 PM

Outgoing Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer pointed another finger at President Barack Obama in an interview Monday. Brewer, a Repu . . .

House Oversight Panel to DHS: White House Needs Better Fence

Monday, 22 Dec 2014 20:10 PM

House lawmakers are pressing Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson for details on how his department is going to boost . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved