Is Having Access to Public Criminal Records a Good Thing?

Criminal records of people have been to jail are open to the public. This is contentious, not in the least because the data contained within these public criminal records is highly sensitive. These records hold details of any violations of the law that an individual has committed. It also includes breach records and arrest records regardless of the outcome of said arrest. At the same time, there are a number of non public criminal records as well.


Public Criminal Records – The Debate


There’s been a heavy debate on whether or not access to these records should be public. The main reason why people feel it should be is because being able to access this information could help people keep themselves and their family safe and secure. For instance, being aware of whether any sex offenders reside within your neighbourhood or whether a new partner has a violent background it’s important information to be aware of.


On the other hand, when someone has a criminal record, regardless of the legal violation they have committed, it could affect their jobs and their families. When someone has served their time and paid the price for their wrongdoing and particularly if their crime was not one that will place people in immediate danger, it’s may be questioned whether they should continue to suffer the consequences.


In the past, finding people’s criminal record was quite a complex and ever. However, thanks to the internet,  this information is not freely available. Additionally, is this possible to use the internet to find people by name and even find their addresses. The original data is stored in the states depository but companies are able to mine this data for those who are happy to pay for it.


these online databases are absolutely huge, collating data from all over the country and even abroad. It is often divided in different categories such as arrest records, jail records, address records, birth and marriage records, etc. There are often also some restrictions on what can and cannot be accessed because it does have to be fully compliant with the law.


Technically, these websites exist to protect the public from dangerous individuals in their surroundings. Unfortunately, some have taken to being more about targeting those people who have records, getting them to pay to have their arrest records removed from the website. This would suggest that perhaps what is needed is greater clarity on who can and cannot access records and how these records can be accessed. At the end of the day, it is everybody’s right to be safe and protected, and that also includes people who may have broken the law but who have paid their debt to society.


Because human beings are nosey by nature, it’s can be tempted with so much free access to information to look anybody up just for the fun of it. Unfortunately, this is not fair on those people who may have made mistakes in the past but who have done all they can to turn their lives around.

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