The drafting committee on the Accuracy of Criminal Records held its first drafting committee meeting in Falls Church, Virginia, Oct. 23-24. The drafting committee has been charged with drafting an act that seeks to improve the accuracy of criminal records. Many developments concerning criminal records have occurred over the past twenty years, including the creation of the National Criminal Background Check System in 1993, the establishment of criminal history repositories in all states, and the increasing use of criminal record checks in connection with eligibility for employment, professional and occupational licenses, credit worthiness, and other non-criminal justice purposes. Recent studies have demonstrated that criminal records accessed for these purposes may be inaccurate or incomplete.
The meeting was well attended, with numerous observers from groups representing industry and also those involved in criminal justice reform efforts. The committee met all day Friday and Saturday to discuss the draft act, beginning with the definitions and proceeding through the entire draft.
Committee members and observers were highly motivated and enthusiastically participated in the discussion. All participants focused on the substance and workability of the draft, suggested areas needing further development and research, and offered ideas for consideration.
The drafting committee will meet again in the spring of 2016, will have its first reading at the 2016 annual meeting, and is expected to have a final reading at the 2017 annual meeting.
The current draft of the Accuracy of Criminal Records Act is posted on the ULC website, and can be found here.
Robert J. Tennessen, Chair of the ULC Drafting Committee on Accuracy of Criminal Records