Indiana OKs online record checks

With paper-based requests for criminal background checks ballooning to thousands a day, the Indiana State Police department is offering a Web-based service that provides almost immediate results, joining just a few other states that offer a similar service.

Prospective employers and other businesses seeking access to criminal histories previously had to make written requests or personal visits to state police offices, often resulting in delays. The new service, which is available through the state's official Web site, accessIndiana (www.in.gov/isp/lch), allows for a limited search of a person's arrest and conviction history within Indiana.

"It's taken a couple of years for us to get this up and running because of the concern over privacy issues," said Candy Irvin, director of e-government services for accessIndiana. "In the future, we want to extend it to organizations that employ people who provide care for others, such as children and the mentally handicapped."

Worried from the start about privacy and the security of the online system, state police officials said they believe every measure has been taken to use the same system of checks and balances that applies to the mailed requests.

Businesses must supply details about themselves when they apply for a subscription to accessIndiana, Irvin said, and have to provide a statutory reason for each of the background checks they request. Each user name and password is tied to each request, and the progress of each request is followed through to when the results are provided.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

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