Records Restriction Day a success

Published 11:20 pm Monday, April 1, 2019

Last week, multiple law enforcement agencies joined together to host a Records Restriction Day, which allowed qualified individuals to go through the process of restricting their eligible criminal records so that they could more effectively seek employment. Between the LPD and the TCSO, 213 people were able to restrict their criminal records. The purpose of the program certainly worked. 

Record restriction means that eligible records on an official criminal history report are restricted from public view and only accessible to law enforcement for criminal justice purposes. Thus, potential employers will not have access to see these records when running a background check.

The thought behind the idea is simple — those with a criminal history have a more challenging outlook to land a job over a competing prospect who does not have a criminal history.

Not all aspects of a criminal record are eligible for restriction, but for those with offenses that do qualify, the prospect of being able to restrict access to certain records comes as a welcome relief and can act as an economic stimulus by default as well.

A free job fair took place simultaneously to the Records Restriction Day, which helped further streamline the process for these individuals to find employment.

“If you’re going to apply for a job and you’re up against someone who looks like you, has the same education, the only difference is that criminal history, who do you think is going to get hired?” LaGrange Police Department Sgt. Marshall McCoy said after the day was complete. “The person with no history is going to get the benefit of the doubt with employers.”

Not all police departments and sheriff’s departments are this progressive in their thinking, but it shows exactly the caliber of departments we have here locally.

Law enforcement agencies realize that a higher employment rate leads to less crime, and our law enforcement agencies have taken the forward-thinking step to help people navigate the legal system in order to be more attractive to employers because they realize in doing so, statistics say there will be less crime as a result.

“The police department believes that the more we can help the community become stronger, the more people are working and are actively looking for work, the better community we have,” McCoy said. “The communities that don’t have jobs lend themselves more to crime.”

We can’t say it any better than this. Well done, LPD, TCSO, and all other participating agencies.