A criminal history background information check is the review of any and all records containing any information collected and stored in the criminal record repository of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the state Department of Public Safety, or any other repository of criminal history records, involving a pending arrest or conviction by a criminal justice agency, including, but not limited to, child abuse crime information, conviction record information, fingerprint cards, correctional induction and release information, identifiable descriptions and notations of convictions; provided, however, dissemination of such information is not forbidden by order of any court of competent jurisdiction or by federal law. Criminal history background information generally does not include any analytical records or investigative reports that contain criminal intelligence information or criminal investigation information.
A criminal history background information check is governed by federal and state laws, which vary by state, and may be required by statute for certain positions of public employment, especially for positions working with children, the elderly, or disabled. The federal National Child Protection Act authorizes state officials to access the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database for some positions. State employment laws may limit the questions an employer includes on a job application. Private employers may conduct a criminal history background information check for any number of positions in their discretion.