A recent study discovered that the state’s courts and law enforcement agencies failed to send more than 800,000 criminal cases to be entered into Nevada’s criminal information depository. The backlog, which includes cases dating back a whopping 20 years, could have a ripple effect throughout the state of Nevada.
How did it happen?
The backlog was reportedly caused by a mixture of factors. Likely contributing factors include agencies lacking resources and employee turnover resulting in employees not knowing they were required to forward the cases along for entry.
How does this affect Nevada residents?
Criminal records can influence many aspects of an individual’s life including voting rights, employment, living space, and even access to financial aid. A lack of information could result in the following:
- Employer background checks could be incomplete.
- When sentencing criminal cases, the Nevada Parole and Probation Division could lack the full information on the cases.
- The Department of Corrections could lack the necessary data to assess an inmate’s “risk” and choose a proper location.
- Regulatory and licensing agencies might not have applicants’ complete information.
- Felons who are not allowed to own guns could possibly be able to purchase firearms.
Is the problem being corrected?
With its current number of staff, the agency would need 23 years to enter all of the records and data from the backlog. However, it has gotten approval to hire 10 employees and bring 10 contract employees on board to work on entering the information, which will cut the time required from 23 years to four. The agency is also working on obtaining a grant to hire an additional 10 employees, which could eliminate backlog by 2017.
The agency also added that due to outreach and education, the law enforcement agencies and state courts have improved their reporting of criminal records.
A criminal record can have a far reaching impact on your life. For more information on how to expunge or seal an existing record, contact criminal defense attorney in Las Vegas, Brian J. Smith, at (702) 380-8248 today.