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What Exactly are Arrest Records?
Arrest records contain documented information pertaining to an individual’s criminal history. Records are only maintained of any convictions in a court of law. Judicial administration and law enforcement agencies both maintain the arrest record in their archives.
The Arrest Records are maintained for a certain duration dictated by the ‘statute of limitations’ that is in turn dependent on the nature of the crime. The statute determines how long the arrest records should be maintained. After this stipulated period, the record needs to be destroyed and no longer considered valid.
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What Details Do Public Arrest Records Contain?
The Arrest Records will contain details such as:
Age and other demographics:
The current age and the age of the individual at the time of the criminal activity is mentioned. Fingerprints, identification marks, photographs, social security number, race, prior arrests if any are also listed in the arrest records.
The nature and type of crime is mentioned in this section. Misdemeanors involve imprisonment that do not last beyond a year and have a shorter statute of limitation. Felonies on the other hand are more severe in terms of punishment and involve longer statutes of limitation.
Details of any fines:
If the crime involved payment of fines or penalties if any are mentioned in the arrest record as well. Pending hearings or litigations: The arrest record will also indicate if there are any pending litigations, hearings or additional convictions.
Military service record if applicable:
If the individual was serving in the military and the crime was committed during the service, the arrest record will contain these details beside the details pertaining to dishonorable discharge.
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Arrest Records Search: Know the Crime Statistics in the United States!
Since the first colonization of America, criminal records have allowed authorities all across the USA to keep track of a person's criminal past. Nowadays, each state has its own criminal records and documentations gathered over the years that is some cases become public records.
This documentation allows to gain perspective on the crime rates across the USA and conduct statistical analysis of crimes, number of jails and prisons, and also to discover the criminal "hot spots" across the country.
During 1963 and especially in the 1970s and early 1990s, there were peaks in crime all across the USA, a situation that has changed over time. Since those dark years, there has been a decline in crime rates in the U.S, and although it is nowhere near over, the number of violent crimes has become lower over the past decades.
Do to poverty, racial and religious tension, drug abuse, mental difficulties - such as depression, and domestic abuse or neglect, there are several cities across the U.S that have received the unfortunate title of being the most violent ones in the country:
- Detroit, Michigan – The birth place of grunge music and the Starbucks coffee chain is also considered the most violent city in the U.S with a violent crime rate of 2,137 crimes committed per every 100,000 residents.
- St. Louis, Missouri – The second most violent city on the U.S map is St. Louis with an average crime rate of 1,857 violent crimes per 100,000 residents. As of 2017, St. Louis hit a record number in murders committed, and became the city with the largest number of murders in the U.S.
- Oakland, California – The third most violent city in the U.S is Oakland, California averaging in at 1,683 violent crimes per 100,000 residents.
Following these three cities, we also find Memphis, Birmingham and Atlanta as part of the top 10 most violent cities in America. By definition, the violent crimes committed in each city are crimes where the offender threatens to use or actually uses force against the victim.
Variations in this definition in each state make the violent crimes to be a matter of jurisdiction, meaning that a violent crime in one state may not be considered the same in another state.
After the Seychelles, the U.S has the highest per-capita incarceration rate in the world at 698 people incarcerated per 100,000 people. In 2013, 2,220,300 adults were incarcerated in county jails and state and federal prisons in the US according to the US Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). In addition to these 2 million inmates, a total of 4,751,400 adults were on parole or prohibition in 2013.
The prisoners sentenced to incarceration are divided into two major facilities in accordance to their crime. Those who violate United States federal law are placed in federal prisons, whereas those who violate territorial laws and/or state laws are placed in territorial or state prisons allowing authorities to monitor and analyze criminal acts in their jurisdiction.
Table of Content
- Arrest Record by Definition
- How Do Arrest Records Affect your Background Check and Life?
- Where are Arrest Records Maintained?
- What is the Three Strike Law?
- What are State Prisons like?
- How are Inmates Treated in Prisons?
- How Does the Prison System Work?
- What are Private Prisons?
- How Do Inmates Get Through the Day in Prison?
- What are the Statistics on Convicts?
Arrest Record by Definition
When police take a person into custody, he or she is under arrest. The arrest can happen following an investigation or immediately after a crime is committed. Law enforcement agencies across the United States keep detailed arrest records that contain the criminal history of individuals who committed crimes. A document that details a person's history is called an Arrest Record, or a Criminal Record.
How Do Arrest Records Affect your Background Check and Life?
Each state has its own laws when it comes to the consequences of having arrest records. For instance, if you were caught driving under the influence of alcohol, your license can be revoked. Some violent crimes result in a lifetime of probation and even losing the right to vote. Each state decides how its criminals will be affected and what rights can be revoked when a person commits a crime.
A background check that reveals arrest records is often performed by employers who wish to know if prospective employees have criminal records. There are many jobs that a criminal record can prevent you from getting, such as banking, nursing, truck driving and more. In some places, a criminal record will prevent you from leaving your country to travel abroad.
Where are Arrest Records Maintained?
Unlike the handwritten criminal records of the past, nowadays these types of files are kept in computer databases. All police agencies that make arrests keep a record of them in their computer database. In addition to the police databases, each state keeps information on arrests and convictions in repositories according to their own guidelines. Under the Freedom of Information Act (FIOS), US residents can view their criminal records that become public records after they are documented.
What is the Three Strike Law?
The Three Strikes Law, which was implemented in 1994, requires that a person with two past convictions who commits a third severe violent felony to serve life in prison. As of 2018, 28 US states utilize the Three Strikes Law in accordance with their local laws and regulations.
What are State Prisons like?
There are three main types of prisons in the United States that divide prisoners based on their crimes: maximum, medium and minimum security. The prisons exist to punish offenders, deter people from committing crimes and also to rehabilitate the people within their walls. The prisoners in state prisons have a daily routine that mandates them to wake up at specified times, go to sleep at specified times and act according the prison rules. Some inmates perform work on the prison premises and many state prisons offer education and rehabilitation programs to prepare the inmates for life outside of the prison.
How are Inmates Treated in Prisons?
Over the years, there have been reports about inmates that have been abused by guards, both physically and mentally. This type of abuse is strictly prohibited, and there were many guards who went on trial for abusing inmates.
How Does the Prison System Work?
The prison system in the United States holds inmates who have committed felony crimes under state laws and violated the constitution. People who have committed less serious offenses get a different form of punishment in accordance to the crime they committed, such as community work, probation or restitution. Felony offenders go to prison, and as of today, there are over 2.2 million prisoners in the United States.
What are Private Prisons?
Private prisons are prisons that are owned and operated by private companies in the United States. Prison privatization began because governments across the United States needed additional prison capacity they did not have. To choose the company that will run a certain prison, bids are held and the company with the most desirable bid wins. The company that gets chosen is in charge of taking over the daily operations of the prison, such as providing prisoners with supplies, hiring staff, providing prisoners with mandated programs, etc. As of 2018, private prisons in the United States house over 120,000 inmates – about 8% of the total prison population in the country.
How Do Inmates Get Through the Day in Prison?
Most prisons in the United States adhere to a daily routine the prisoners have to follow: morning alarm followed by breakfast, breaktime/work time, prayer time, time for prison and state programs, lunch, time off/work time, dinner and lights out. Each prison decides in which times during the day prisoners will perform the schedule above in accordance to the facility's security level, population and needs.
What are the Statistics on Convicts?
The conviction rate in the United States is nearly 99.8% with numbers varying from state to state. The high conviction rate comes from defendants pleading guilty to the charges brought against them, which results in reduced sentences. The great majority of defendants do not go to trial, and most of those who do, end up getting convicted for the crimes attributed to them.
Free Arrest Records - Are they really free?
Many background check website services advertise their background check, court records, and other services as free services. However, to compile an arrest record report or any other background check report for that manner, costs money. There is always a free when you pull an arrest record report. The search may be free, but in order to pull a complete report, you will have to sign up for a membership. Arrest Records can be obtained for free on your own, but requires a lot of work to find the appropriate court records, or arrest records you are looking for. Arrest records can show up on background check reports when you perform a people search or a background check on someone. Convictions, felonies and other related court documents may also show up on a background check report, but this varies from person to person.
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