Creating a More Complete Criminal Monitoring Solution

Like background screens, post-hire criminal monitoring programs need to be flexible to adjust to the needs of each client’s risk profile, company policies, operating jurisdictions, and regulatory environment. The foundation for effective continuous monitoring programs is a customizable set of tools, data assets, and internal policies that empower the employer to reduce risk, improve employee engagement, and build a culture of trust and safety.

Appriss believes the gold standard in post-hire criminal monitoring implementations is the combination of nationwide real-time incarceration data, a timely national criminal file, and county court records. CRAs who use all three of these data assets in tandem can offer the most comprehensive and effective post-hire solutions to their clients.

Complete monitoring Involves the Combination of Incarceration Data, Court Records, and a National Criminal File

But while multiple sources of court records and national criminal data exist, only Appriss has the real-time incarceration data needed for a comprehensive monitoring solution. Appriss currently receives real-time incarceration data from more than 3,000 jails and DOCs across the U.S. This data differs from publicly posted incarceration data because it contains over 300 data fields about the arrest, as well as personally identifiable information (PII) including the person’s social security number, address, and full date of birth.

Incarceration data with these identifiers is central to achieving the broader possibilities of monitoring: helping organizations improve safety, second chance hiring initiatives, employee engagement, and trust.

A comprehensive monitoring solution can improve retention, engagement, and inclusion

The value of a post-hire monitoring program differs from that of pre-hire background check programs.

The vast majority of human resource organizations perform background checks to protect employees and customers, according to PBSA’s latest annual survey. But a mindset of “keeping threats out” limits the value and potential use cases for post-hire monitoring. Employers and organizations can use criminal monitoring to:

  • Confidently implement fair-chance hiring initiatives, reducing pre-hire thresholds with the knowledge that new criminal activity will be reported
  • Improve employee assistance programs, providing quicker counseling and support when an employee is going through a period of high stress, financial hardship, addiction, or other challenging time.
  • Build trust with customers by ensuring that employees arrested for serious crimes won’t interact with vulnerable populations until further investigation is completed.

Public safety is a core benefit of criminal monitoring, but it is not the only benefit. Limiting monitoring solutions to court records greatly limit the promise and potential of post-hire monitoring. Incarceration alerts allow employers to implement a broader range of policies that put employees first, build greater brand trust, and tap into new talent pools.


Many organizations need the earliest possible risk indicators

Risk management professionals rely on actionable, timely data to manage enterprise workforce risk. Increasingly, managing risk in an organization involves using a variety of real-time data sources to predict, identify, and mitigate risk immediately.

In many instances, waiting the year between an incarceration and a conviction to learn of employee criminal activity is simply far too long. One in five violent offenses takes more than a year to fully adjudicate, according to the BLJ.

90% of felony cases should be disposed within 180 days. The other 10% can take up to a year or longer.

There are many organizations where the risk to employee and customer safety would be too high in waiting 6 - 12 months before taking some protective action. For example, when employees interact with children or other vulnerable populations, organizations need to know as soon as possible about a serious crime. An organization can assign the employee to tasks that do not involve direct interaction with these populations until the employee’s innocence or guilt is determined by the court.

Incarceration notifications do not have to result in adverse action, but such action is often valid. SHRM advises that “an employee may be suspended or terminated for an arrest so long as the conduct for which the employee was arrested is relevant and makes the employee unfit for the position.”

Incarceration notifications improve the efficiency of court record notifications

Court records have notoriously little PII. Many records contain only a name and a location; some may include a year of birth, but rarely a full DOB. A post-hire monitoring solution that exclusively looks at court records is bound to produce a large volume of “hits” for similarly named individuals. Eliminating these false positives will require a high volume of manual county crim searches; sometimes eliminating a potential record is not possible.

On the other hand, including Appriss’ PII-rich incarceration data in the monitoring workflow reduces false positives on all notifications, including new court records. More than 95% of our records have a full DOB, and a majority have an SSN and a driver’s license number.

Our data provides accurate matches on new incarceration activity, ensuring the CRA and the client are not wasting time and money investigating and verifying an individual’s identity in subsequent court proceedings.


Incarceration data in monitoring: a foundation for flexibility

No two employers’ criminal monitoring program should look alike. Differences in regulatory environments, adverse action policies, legal positions, and company risk profile will impact when and where an employer wants to be notified of criminal activity among their workforce.

Whether or not the customer wants notifications on an initial incarceration or a completed conviction, CRAs need a criminal monitoring solution that can adapt to serve their clients. A monitoring program that includes real-time incarceration data, national criminal data, and county court records is the best solution for CRAs looking to provide the best possible risk mitigation solution for their employees and clients.

Brian Kelly


Brian Kelly

Brian Kelly is the Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Appriss Insights. He leads the go-to-market strategy development and execution of all revenue initiatives for Justice Intelligence (Government and Commercial Investigations), Program Integrity, and Risk Intelligence solutions. This includes working with the teams across Insights to identify and execute new revenue opportunities with existing and new partners. Over the last 25 years, he has served in business development, sales, and marketing roles in finance, data security, and technology. Brian holds a BS in Finance from Pennsylvania State University and an MBA from the Stern School of Business at New York University.

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