BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Publication Criminal Justice Information Policies

June 1, 1982    NCJ 80836

Almost all jurisdictions favor board legislation establishing a policy framework and leaving operational procedures to be promulgated by regulations. Most jurisdictions begin with the presumption that criminal records are public and carve out exceptions to limit access to more sensitive records. A total of 24 jurisdictions have enacted comprehensive privacy and security laws, most dealing with aspects of record policy covered in the Department of Justice regulations, and most stricter than those regulations. Most jurisdictions distinguish between original records (police blotters, court dockets, etc.) and summary criminal histories. The concept that restrictions should be placed on the release of nonconviction information is generally accepted. A total of 42 jurisdictions by statute allow record subjects to inspect their criminal history records, and 36 provide for amendment or correction of challenged information. A total of 29 jurisdictions require that dissemination logs be maintained to record the disclosure of criminal history information, 46 have established or designated a State regulatory authority to provide general oversight of criminal history management policy, and 52 have established central repositories. Overall, data reflect a sustained treatment of the issue by large numbers of States and show the building body of law as it continues to grow and change. Tables are included.


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