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Recently, Corporate Screening has shared information with you regarding the impact of a recent Ohio law that has negatively impacted turnaround times for fingerprint results in the Ohio (to review, visit the CS website at www.CorporateScreening.com, select Resources then select Client Alert – Archives or click here and here to review the client alerts). Changes in how the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI) processes fingerprint results have caused a dramatic increase in the time it takes for the Bureau to return results of a fingerprint search. Searches that used to take at most 30 days to complete have now been stretched to 90+ days.

In addition to turnaround time delays, BCI now will only release information regarding an arrest that ultimately led to a conviction. Since initial fingerprint results often do not include the final disposition from the court of record, BCI is now required to research the fingerprint hits that lack a final disposition. Obtaining this information from various Common Pleas and Municipal courts throughout Ohio can be an arduous and nuanced process depending on the court and the age of the case. Corporate Screening (CS) is well versed in this process, having expended thousands of man hours annually completing this type of research.

The length of fingerprint turnaround time, the information that BCI will release, as well as the information that they are withholding has caught the ire of critics, including Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. In a Columbus Dispatch news article, DeWine and others warn employers of the information that can be lacking from fingerprint results. According to the article, DeWine plans to ask legislators to rectify the problem.

Corporate Screening has long advised clients to conduct court level criminal searches in concert with fingerprint searches to fill gaps in the BCI criminal database, but in light of the changes to BCI’s process, this practice becomes even more crucial now. CS offers the most thorough and comprehensive Ohio criminal court search in the industry available through our CS Crimesweep Ohio product. Conducting this search in combination with a fingerprint search can help employers achieve that peace-of-mind that even the Ohio Attorney General believes is lacking from fingerprint-only results.

Corporate Screening will continue to monitor this situation and keep you informed of any relevant information.