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ChoicePoint(R) Nonprofit Audit Finds Five Percent of Applicants Have Prior Criminal Convictions

Submitted by: ChoicePoint

Categories: Human Resources & Diversity1, Green Jobs & Career News

Posted: Apr 23, 2008 – 09:12 AM EST

 

Nonprofits Must Be Vigilant on Background Screening for Potential Employees and Volunteers

Apr. 23 /CSRwire/ - ALPHARETTA, GA, April 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Every day, 144 individuals with criminal records seek employment or a volunteer opportunity with a nonprofit, according to a background screening audit conducted by ChoicePoint, a leading provider of background screening services to the nonprofit sector. Many of these nonprofits serve many vulnerable populations including children, the poor, the elderly and the disabled.

In data compiled from 2002 to 2007, ChoicePoint completed more than 3.7 million background screenings and found that more than 189,000 individuals who had at least one criminal conviction attempted to gain employment or volunteer with a nonprofit organization. The audit also found:

-- More than 2,700 registered sex offenders;
-- 3,900 sex-related crimes;
-- 37,400 drug-related offenses; and
-- 651 murder convictions.

"I hope this audit raises awareness and inspire nonprofits to partner with us in protecting vulnerable populations, so that we may all work together to ensure a safer, more secure society," said Derek V. Smith, chairman and CEO of ChoicePoint.

The audit also found that the top-10 most cited criminal offenses include (in order):

1. DWI/DUI
2. Theft/Larceny
3. Simple Worthless Check/Bad Checks
4. Drug Possession(2)
5. Assault
6. Burglary
7. Sex-related crimes (including rape)
8. Disorderly conduct
9. Criminal trespass
10. Forgery

While the majority of individuals who apply for volunteer or employment positions within the nation's 1.47 million nonprofits(1) do so to serve, nonprofits must also balance the needs of their organizations by remaining vigilant about the risks some individuals pose to the safety of the clients they serve.

According to a recent report by the National Center for Victims of Crime, the nation's leading advocacy group for crime victims, one in three U.S. nonprofit organizations do not conduct background checks on volunteers, and roughly one in eight do no screening at all. Although the majority of surveyed nonprofit human service organizations conduct some screening, most agencies that serve vulnerable populations could benefit from more thorough and comprehensive volunteer screening practices.

"For nonprofits that serve vulnerable people, failure to screen volunteers may prove far more costly than background checks," said Mary Lou Leary, executive director of the National Center for Victims of Crime. "To protect their reputations, their resources, and-above all-those who depend on them, nonprofits should review their screening practices and fill any current gaps."

The ChoicePoint audit is available at http://www.choicepoint.com/nonprofit/white_papers.html and the National Center for Victims of Crime report Who's Lending a Hand? A National Survey of Nonprofit Volunteer Screening Practices is available at http://www.ncvc.org.

About ChoicePoint

ChoicePoint (NYSE: CPS) provides businesses, government agencies and
non-profit organizations with technology, software, information and marketing services to help manage economic and physical risks as well as identify business opportunities. Consumers have free access to the reports we create at http://www.ChoiceTrust.com. Learn what we do to protect consumer privacy by visiting http://www.PrivacyatChoicePoint.com and, for more information on our company, go to http://www.ChoicePoint.com.

(1) http://nccsdataweb.urban.org/NCCS/Public/index.php
(2) Drug possession combines crimes associated with possession of marijuana, possession of cocaine, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

ChoicePoint and the ChoicePoint logo are registered trademarks of ChoicePoint Asset Company LLC.

For more information, please contact:

Phone: 770-752-6032
Phone: 770-752-3895

 

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