[LTR] Millions of people have had criminal background checks before employment - teachers, healthcare workers, day care workers, and others who work with children, the elderly, or disabled. Countless others in corporate jobs have also had these checks. In fact, many people have been checked and have not even realized it. Many job applications state in the fine print that employment is contingent on the results of a background check, and a criminal check is normally a part of this screening.

Private background screening companies often perform both criminal and civil background checks. They have databases that cross check many different sources to confirm that the information is correct. They do FBI screenings using the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, and if necessary, they get a more detailed FBI report. FBI reports can identify illegal aliens, terrorists, those with outstanding warrants, gang members and others. This system is used by police officers from their vehicles when they check cars to see if they are stolen. They also use them to check drivers to see if he or she if has any outstanding warrants for arrest. FBI records are very good sources to use in criminal background checks because they do not cover just one state where a person may have committed a crime. They cover all 50 states plus the District of Columbia. States are obligated to report all crime in their state to the FBI.

If a person has a criminal record, they have been convicted of a crime. It is also possible to find out if a person may be experiencing criminal, personal, or family problems by looking at court records. These records list cases in which the person was involved. Some of these that are commonly searched for in criminal checks include civil court records for pending and dismissed cases. They may be lawsuits, judgments, and charges and attorney names if available. In addition, they can show the person's appearance in family court, small claims courts, federal and state courts, and traffic court.

Most importantly, checking records can reveal prison parole and release files, probation records and Interpol records. Interpol is an international police organization that has over 180 countries who participate in it. Interpol enables companies who do criminal background checks to discover if a person may have fled another country because of criminal activity there.

With so many databases and sources available to check the criminal background of a person, there is no reason not to check. Criminal checks are reasonably priced and can save businesses and property owners thousands of dollars by keeping criminals out of businesses and off property.

The reasons for wanting a criminal background check are varied and depend on who would like to have the background check on a certain person. For instance, employers often require them because they want to be sure they are hiring only those without criminal records. Schools, day care centers, and other businesses who hire employees who will work with children are required to have these checks. Many health care workers are also required to be checked. Property owners often run criminal background checks on prospective tenants to ensure that they will not rent to a person who has committed crimes.