Perhaps one of the worst effects of a criminal record is that it can follow you wherever you go. Once criminals have served their time and paid their debt to society, their punishment doesn’t end there. Instead, society labels them as “criminals” or “felons,” and having such labels can make it difficult to secure homes, apartment housing and jobs. In lieu of all this, it’s no wonder that many who are sincerely trying to reform their lives get discouraged or depressed. [Read more…]
Mississippi Criminal Records
Looking up the criminal records of the state of Mississippi is relatively easy. The Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) has a database and a search engine available to anyone who is interested in checking the conviction history of any subject. It provides with all the relevant information, including personal information, crime committed, sentence served and prison where the sentence is being served. The website of the MDOC also gives information regarding prisoners on the Death Row and about criminals on parole, including their parole officer and their address. The MDOC database can be accessed through their website.
However, even though the state of Mississippi is one of the few states that allows employers to base their hiring decisions on the criminal records of the applicants, the only existing online records are those regarding criminals under the supervision of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. That means that it is not possible to access freely to any registry of criminal records that includes past sentences or old convictions.
For those working in law enforcement, it's possible to access the database of the Criminal Information Center (CIC), a division of the Mississippi Department of Public Safety. This database is an exhaustive registry of all criminal records in the state of Mississippi. In order to access it, it's necessary the explicit authorization from the relevant law enforcement office or from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In cases where an employer wants to perform a background check on a job applicant, it is possible to request that authorization and to receive the relevant criminal records for a fee of thirty five dollars. This formality must be realized personally, at any police station.
On a different note, the state of Mississippi has a very complete website dedicated to the Sex Offender Registry. This site has a powerful search engine that connects with the database, providing exhaustive information about all sex offenders in the Mississippi area. The search engine allows the user to locate sex offenders by last name, first name or location. The search results come back in the form of a map, specifying residence and work address, and a list. The personal records of any sex offender can be fully accessed, obtaining information such as address, sentence or offence.
It is important to take in consideration that, although the state of Mississippi is quite open when it comes to sharing criminal records, and its laws offer close to no protection to ex convicts looking for a job, according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), if an employer is planning on performing a criminal background check on an applicant, they must first get the applicant's consent to do that. If the employer decides to screen the applicant out due to the contents of the report, they must notify the applicant and give them a copy of the report. The goal of this law is to address the problem of inaccurate or incomplete reports.
Governors don’t hand out many pardons to convicted criminals, especially when their charges involve the manufacturing of methamphetamine. Be that as it may, Governor Haley Barbour granted a pardon to a few dozen individuals in 2012, including one Ms. Rebecca Hentz. [Read more…]