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National News

New York's Criminal Database Will Now Have Access To FBI Records

April 12, 2018 posted by Steve Brownstein

  Congress closed a gaping loophole in sex offender laws.
  Daycares, summer camps and other youth organizations once restricted to New York’s Criminal Database, will now have access to records from the FBI.
  Until now, they were costly and time-consuming, which Congressional leaders say discouraged groups from rigorous background checks.
  The FBI sex offender database is considered the most accurate and complete.
  Now a new law is unlocking that information for youth organizations to keep your children safe.
  Keeping up with two toddlers is a rewarding adventure.
  Like any grandparent, Marilyn Schmidt wants to know her granddaughters are always in good hands.
  “Back in the day it wasn’t so much of an issue as it is today. I think with heightened awareness certainly, the concerns and issues of not having a background check are becoming more publicized,” Schmidt said.
  Now there’s an added layer of protection.
  Congress passed a bill that unlocks the FBI Sex Offender Database for youth organizations.
  That’s important, becomes some groups could not access out-of-state records.  Meaning a person’s criminal history elsewhere is hidden from New York’s Sex Offender Registry.
  “Background checks, finger printing, it is all so important,” said Justin Reuter, Executive Director of the Albany Boys and Girls Club.
  Fortunately, for groups like Boys and Girls Club, rigorous background checks are part of their national standard.
  This new law enhances their resources.
  “Families are entrusting their children to come to the boys and girls club or any other non-profit that serves youth and they want to make sure they are around somebody who is safe,” Reuter said.
That’s the number one priority for Marilyn Schmidt, safety and of course a little fun.
  “That’s my biggest thing is keeping them safe and keeping them happy,” Schmidt said.
  Under the previous statute, an organization had to apply for a background check through its state for each individual employee.
  The bill will not impose any new or unfunded mandates on the states.

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