Sex Offender Safety Tips

October 29, 2009

pumpkin

It’s that time of year again and I thought it would be helpful to share this important information about sex offenders:

Sex Offenders and Halloween Safety Tips

Sex Offenders and Halloween Safety Tips- Part 2

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Photo credit: euart

Best Employee Screening Articles For August & September 2009

October 1, 2009

human_resourcesIn case you missed any of our employee screening articles for August and September, here’s a quick recap of our most popular:

Smart, Compliant Hiring Decisions Made Easy

FYI Screening, Inc. is a leading provider of on-demand, easy to use employee screening solutions.

Photo credit:  net_efekt

Sex Offenders In Ohio

September 25, 2009

Congratulations to Ohio for being the first state in the country to reach “substantial implementation” of the provisions of a federal law cracking down on sex offenders (FYI Screening, Inc. is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio.)

The state is largely in compliance with the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, which is part of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, according to Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act was signed into law by U.S. President George W. Bush on July 27, 2006.

The legislation organizes sex offenders into three tiers:

  1. Tier 3 offenders (the most serious tier) must update their whereabouts every three months with lifetime registration requirements.
  2. Tier 2 offenders must update their whereabouts every six months with 25 years of registration
  3. Tier 1 offenders (which includes minors as young as 14 years of age) must update their whereabouts every year with 15 years of registration.

Failure to register and update information is a felony under the law. It also created a national sex offender registry and instructs each state and territory to apply identical criteria for posting offender data on the Internet (i.e., offender’s name, address, date of birth, place of employment, photograph, etc.)

States, tribes and territories must “substantially implement” the sex-offender law by July 26, 2010, or face a 10 percent reduction in federal Byrne Justice Assistance Grant funding.

Source: The Columbus Dispatch

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Has Your Joe The Plumber Been Checked Out?

November 17, 2008

It’s about time…

CBS 7 reports the State of Texas is now requiring background checks for people who come into your home to make repairs.

A law passed by the state legislature in the last session is aimed at making repair work safer for homeowners.

Tag: Sex Offender

Photo Credit: MoToMo

Employee Screening Articles For October

October 31, 2008

In case you missed any of our employee screening articles for October, here’s a quick recap:

Sex Offenders and Halloween Safety Tips- Part 2

Sex Offenders and Halloween Safety Tips

Pre-Employment Drug Testing For Teachers

Background Checks For The Education Industry

Background Checks For Temporary Employees

Do You Have a Sex Offender Working For You?

Immigration Crackdown – HR Director Indicted

Drug-Free Work Week

Why Gaps In Employment Are A Red Flag

$100 Million For E-Verify

Hiring For Hotels: Why Screening Is Essential

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Sex Offenders and Halloween Safety Tips- Part 2

October 30, 2008

Earlier this week I wrote a post, Sex Offenders and Halloween Safety Tips and I wanted share more information on this topic.
USA Today reports:
“For Halloween this year, more convicted sex offenders must post signs telling trick-or-treaters to stay away or saying “No candy at this residence.”

In Indiana, Maryland, Missouri and New Mexico, some registered sex offenders are required to hang such signs where they live. In Maryland, the sign is a bright orange pumpkin.

The signs are part of expanding efforts to regulate not only where convicted sex offenders live and work but also their movements on Halloween. Many states bar those on probation from giving out candy, wearing costumes or decorating their homes.”

From sheriffalerts.com:

Facts About Sex Offenders

  • In 2003, there were approximately 455,000 registered sex offenders in the United States.
  • Most sex offenders (80- 95%) assault people they know.
  • At least half of convicted child molesters report that they also have sexually assaulted an adult.
  • Over 80% of convicted adult rapists report that they have molested children.
  • Approximately one-third of sex offenders report assaulting both males and females. Research shows that most convicted sex offenders have committed many, many assaults before they are caught.
  • Most sex offenders report that they have committed multiple types of sexual assault (sexual assault crimes include exhibitionism, voyeurism, oral sex, vaginal penetration, attempted penetration, fondling, and incest).
  • Over two-thirds of offenders who reported committing incest also said they assaulted victims outside the family.
  • Some studies of victims have shown less than 30% of sex crimes are reported to law enforcement.
  • Young victims who know or are related to the perpetrator are least likely to report the crime to authorities.

Sex Offender Characteristics

  • Most offenders commit multiple crimes against multiple types of victims with whom they have varying types of relationships (adults, children, male, female, known and unknown). This behavior is known as “crossover”.
  • Sex offenders rarely commit just one type of offense. Many offenders have NO official criminal record or sex crime history of any kind.
  • There is no such thing as a “typical” sex offender; however, all tend to be manipulative, deceptive, and secretive. Sex offenders come from all backgrounds, ages, income levels, and professions.
  • The majority of offenses (80 – 95%) are committed by someone the victim knows.
  • Sexual deviancy often begins in adolescence.
  • Sex offenders usually do not commit their crimes impulsively. They usually carefully plan their crimes.
  • Approximately 4% of sexual assaults are committed by women.

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Photo Credit: riptheskull

Sex Offenders and Halloween Safety Tips

October 28, 2008

This morning I received the following Updated Sex Offender Notification via email alert from the Franklin County Sheriff’s office:

You have registered the following address to be monitored for the presence of registered offenders in your area. Our records indicate that the offender (s) shown below have registered a home address within the indicated distance of your address. This email serves as your alert to be aware of the presence of the noted offenders.

It turns out I’ve got a Tier II Sex Offender, that was convicted of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, living within 1 mile of my house.  What’s even scarier…according to Watch Systems, which developed an offender management and community notification tool, “80 – 90% of citizens have a registered sex offender living within a one mile radius of their home, children’s school, or place of work.”

Do you know who the sex offenders are in your area?

I did some research and found quite a bit of useful information on sex offenders.  Normally I write about sex offenders in the workplace, but I wanted to share these Halloween Safety Tips from SheriffAlerts.com:

“Halloween can be great fun for our kids, but unfortunately there are people out there who may harm them.  Being prepared is the first step in assuring all goes well.  Make a plan for the night and talk to your kids about how to stay safe.  You can make the difference.”

To keep kids SAFE during Halloween follow these simple rules:

  • BE AWARE of sex offenders in your area.  Use your state sex offender registry or the National Sex Offender Registry. Register for automatic email alerts if available.
  • NEVER let children trick or treat alone
  • ONLY trick-or-treat if houses are well lit
  • NEVER let kids enter homes without parent’s permission

I’ll post more on sex offenders later this week.

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Background Checks For The Education Industry

October 27, 2008

One of tragic ironies of the education industry is that it often fails to properly screen teachers. For example, a study conducted in 2007 found that most Illinois teachers who were hired prior to 2004 were exempt from FBI background checks. These educators have a dangerous level of exposure to children. Consider that many of them could easily hide a criminal past.

Chilling Examples

Newspapers are filled with hundreds of cases in which educators are hired, but are unsuitable to have exposure to children. For example, a high school teacher named Jaime Katheryn Steen was recently jailed for distributing pornographic pictures to her students. George Tolbert, convicted of sexually abusing 2 children, served 4 years in jail, only to earn his teaching credentials and teach for 10 years. Chassappasi Rain, convicted of shooting 2 people in 1978, earned his teaching certificate in 1990 and found a teaching job in the Chicago Public School System.

Comprehensive background checks should have been performed on each of these people prior to hiring them as educators. By failing to screen them properly and allowing them into the classroom, school administrators are gambling with the safety of the students in their care.

Pre-Employment Screening For Educators

As the number of criminal cases involving teachers continues to escalate, state governments are starting to require pre-employment background checks. The problem is that the scope of these background checks is usually inadequate. They’re often limited to running an applicant’s name through an FBI database and doing a child abuse registry search. Not only is this approach plagued with problems (i.e. misspelled names, out of date profiles, etc.), but they often fail to uncover past criminal convictions.

School administrators need to implement more thorough pre-employment screening protocols. Even if funding seems to be a obstacle, it’s important to realize that properly screening teachers and conducting wide-ranging criminal background checks is relatively inexpensive. In fact, it can usually be done for less than what that teacher will earn during their first day on the job.

Limiting Risk And Protecting Students

Doing the bare minimum when screening educators is no longer a viable option. There is simply too much risk to the safety of the students. Allowing convicted felons to gain all-day access to children is a recipe for disaster. In fact, the education industry has been buffeted by high-profile incidents for years. It’s time for school administrators to take control by conducting extensive background checks on all personnel.

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Photo Credits: krispdk, aprilzosia

Do You Have a Sex Offender Working For You?

October 8, 2008

The man accused of kidnapping and killing his niece in June will be entering a plea of not guilty today in U.S. District Court in Burlington, Vermont.

Michael Jacques, has decided not to appear at his arraignment. Authorities say Jacques could face the death penalty in the death of Brooke Bennett, 12, whom they say Jacques drugged, sexually assaulted, strangled and smothered.

At the time of Brooke Bennett’s death, Michael Jacques was working for a company that had not been doing employment background checks. If they had an employee screening program in place at the time they hired Jacques, they would have discovered a 1993 kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault conviction.

In this video, a company representative says “at the time our policy was we didn’t do background checks…that’s changed, over the last couple of months, we’ve actually changed our policy.”

Employers’ Obligation
Employers have a responsibility to provide a safe working environment for their staff. By hiring someone with a criminal record, they could be exposing their staff to an unnecessary risk.

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Does Your Job Applicant Have a Criminal Record?

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Do You Have A Sex Offender In Your House?

August 27, 2008

When was the last time you had a service person in your house? Could this person have been a sex offender without you knowing it?

sex offender

The Consumer Awareness of Unsafe Service Employment (C.A.U.S.E.) Certification campaign was launched today on the seven year anniversary of the death of Sue Weaver, who was raped and beaten to death in her Orlando home by a worker sent to clean her air ducts. Although a twice-convicted sex offender on parole, the company did not do a criminal background check before hiring him.

Sue’s sister Lucia Bone founded The Sue Weaver C.A.U.S.E. in her memory. “Tragically, Sue’s murder is not an isolated case. Many consumers are assaulted and murdered each year by people whose jobs allow them access to their victims.”

“C.A.U.S.E. leads a national nonprofit campaign to educate employers and consumers to the necessity of criminal background checks and to promote C.A.U.S.E. Certification,” she said. “The C.A.U.S.E. Team has spent two years developing the certification program and has already received applications from several service providers employing more than 650 in-home workers.”

“We have to educate the public about hiring practices. Bonded and insured does not mean a criminal background check has been performed on the workers. C.A.U.S.E. Certification is designed to offer safety conscious consumers a means of identifying service companies that take their safety seriously. It also offers service providers a means to hire and promote safer employees, contractors, and subcontractors. As a result, it will better protect both consumers and businesses,” Bone added. “C.A.U.S.E. Certification is a program that very well may have saved Sue’s life!”

To find out more about C.A.U.S.E. go here.

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