Slate: There’s No Such Thing as Expunging a Criminal Record Anymore. “The problem for Alan and millions of other arrestees is that on a practical level, expungement isn’t really expungement anymore. Even if a record is officially wiped clean, it’s legal for criminal justice agencies and other websites to keep criminal records online. Arrest records, mug shots, and court records are classified as in the public record in most states. There’s no constitutional problem in republishing public information, as long as the government makes it public first. Further, forcing a website to take down public records would violate the First Amendment.”
Kansas Public Radio: Kansas Commission Wants to Trim the State’s Criminal Registry. “States created registries in the 1990s to track the whereabouts of violent offenders released from prison. But some are now saying that the online database in Kansas has grown too big. Kansas News Service (link is external) editor Jim McLean recently caught up with reporter Celia Llopis-Jepsen to get the latest on efforts to scale it back.” Unfortunately this article is audio-only with no transcription.
National Post: It’s taking the RCMP longer than anticipated to digitize Canada’s national database of criminal records. “The RCMP says it will now need until 2020 to finish uploading nearly half-a-million backlogged files to a nationwide criminal-record database, despite previously saying the job would be done next year. Criminal justice experts say they are troubled by how much time it has taken the RCMP, which manages the database, to eliminate the backlog for a database that is relied upon not only by police officers, who use it to check suspects’ backgrounds, but also by employers and volunteer organizations who use it to vet job applicants and the courts who use it to make bail and sentencing decisions.”