Felons Slip Through Cracks in Texas Background Checks

Posted by Kristina Taylor
October 5, 2011

Felons Slip Through Cracks in Texas Background Checks

A recent state audit in Texas has revealed that courts and prosecutors throughout the state seem to take months to submit arrests and convictions for arson, burglary, and more serious crimes. They are supposed to submit such convictions in a timely manner, but according to the audit, more than a quarter of the arrests are not showing up on state background checks because local police agencies and county courthouses are lagging on their responsibilities for filing such paperwork with the Texas Department of Public Safety.

That means a prospective employee could pass a pre-employment background check with flying colors, even though he was recently arrested or convicted of a serious crime, simply because his criminal file is not yet in the system. The audit report dug into all arrests made statewide in 2009 and it found that more than a quarter of the crimes had still not been reported to Texas DPS as of January 2011.

The findings are a potential safety blow to employers across the state and elsewhere that have been relying on statewide background checks to assist them in making hiring decisions.

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