Lageson, S. (2020). How criminal background checks lead to discrimination against millions of Americans. Washington Post.
As the criminal justice system comes under scrutiny, our national reckoning should include reining in the outsize influence that police and courts wield in the lives of millions of people outside the formal legal system. In particular, records created by police and prosecutors are routinely accessed in background checks — and regularly used to discriminate against millions. Criminal background checks don’t necessarily provide an accurate portrayal of a person’s life; they show whom police targeted or decided to stop. Using these records to determine a person’s trustworthiness or value as a worker legitimizes police decision-making and entrenches the criminal justice system across unrelated institutions, including public and private workforces, educational systems, and housing. (Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/07/10/personal-data-industry-is-complicit-bad-policing-it-must-be-held-accountable)