Society

Should Criminal Record Checks Be Standard for Applications?

Most jobs these days require criminal records checks as well as credit checks. Still, there are a great many jobs out there that allow you to be hired without your background being checked. If this is a personally owned business, then most people have the attitude that the owner has the choice. That is the “American Way” and the vast majority of people would not argue that point. Each business owner has the right to choose their own hiring processes.

When this becomes a problem is when the business deals with children, or otherwise puts people at risk. For example, the vast majority of personally owned day cares have no criminal records checks. I know this from personal experience in the past. How is it possible that day cares can hire out anyone without even checking to see if they have a criminal record. What if they are a sexual predator? There have also been a number of times in the news where a teacher, clergyman, hospital worker or other person of power was hired with no criminal record check being done. The cost of this lack of foresight can be horrific.

Have we now come to a time in our history where we need to enforce this as a standard? I am all for freedom and all the things that we love about America, and Lord knows we do not need more government oversight. Still, I do not understand how we can allow these folks to hire people that hurt our children and in some cases, the elderly. While these are the most vulnerable victims, it seems that nobody is doing much to protect their interests if we are allowing criminals to work in places where they can take advantage of them.

The first argument I usually hear about this is that their are levels of criminal activity. Certainly a person that smoked a joint and got caught when they were a teenager and that has been clean since is not the same as a sexual predator or otherwise dangerous criminal. There has to be a way to account for this in a way that will prevent people that are true criminals from getting access to a children and loved ones. We have handled problems far larger than this with success.

For the people who think that this infringes on our rights of freedom, maybe you should sit down and take a look at the thousands of children who are harmed in this way due to lax policies in this area. While it is true that sexual predators will find a way to commit crimes, it still does not mean we should open the door and hold it for the criminals.