Those who think that getting information on a person with a criminal record is as easy as picking up a phone and making a call may find this article an eye opener. It isn’t that you can’t get the information. The problem is that part or all of the information itself may not be available or even recorded.
In 2001, states maintained criminal records for over 64 million people, but upon investigation it was determined that many of these records had reduced usefulness because the records themselves were missing important information regarding the arrest or conviction. The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) in conducting surveys, discovered that a large proportion of criminal records lack what is called a final disposition. It is this final disposition that indicates the final outcome of the arrest.
There is a process in place that creates a criminal history record. In this process you have the arresting agency, the prosecutor, the court, and the correctional authority. Any one of these can provide the final disposition as each arrest can end with a different disposition.
To give examples we have the following:
A person is...