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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 148966 Find in a Library
Title: Crime and Security Risk
Journal: Polygraph  Volume:23  Issue:1  Dated:(1994)  Pages:24-60
Author(s): R J Heuer Jr
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 37
Type: Training (Aid/Material)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article documents the limitations of official records as sources for determining a prospective employee's past criminal behavior and suggests screening procedures to supplement checks of criminal history records.
Abstract: A history of illegal or dishonest behavior is a security concern, because it indicates an individual may be inclined to break rules. Willingness to abide by rules is an essential qualification for any individual cleared for access to the Nation's secrets. Although the existence of a criminal record can be grounds for security disapproval, the absence of a criminal record shows only that no information exists on a person's past criminal behaviors. A large portion of crime is not reported to police, and many crimes that are reported never lead to arrests. Many of those arrested are never prosecuted or convicted. Even for those who are convicted, criminal history records may be incomplete or inaccurate. Thus, records checks identify only the "tip of the iceberg" of criminal activity. In the absence of complete and accurate criminal records, the past criminal behavior of a person undergoing a security screening is likely to be discovered only by self-admission, interviews with references or developed sources, or polygraph examination. Since shoplifting and theft by retail employees are the most common unreported crimes, interviews of applicants and sources should focus on these areas. Psychological assessment may identify antisocial personality characteristics commonly associated with criminal behavior. This report also provides information on the prevalence of selected types of crime in society as a whole, the likelihood that an arrested person will be prosecuted and convicted, the extent to which past criminal behavior predicts future criminal behavior, the relationship between crime and substance abuse, and passage of time as a mitigating factor when evaluating an individual with a criminal record. 4 tables, 2 figures, and 80 footnotes
Main Term(s): Juvenile court records
Index Term(s): Background investigations; Criminal histories; Personnel security procedures; Personnel selection; Polygraphs
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