News & Resources

Flawed police reports stunt job opportunities in New York

Apr 12, 2011 Matt Roesly

The process for finding work after passing through the criminal justice system remains an ongoing issue in Onondaga County, New York, according to In a study conducted by the Centers for Community Alternatives (CCA), 64.3 percent of the 70 randomly selected criminal background reports contained arrest records that were later sealed by the courts. On 90 percent of the reports, noncriminal violation convictions such as traffic infractions showed up, notes the media outlet. "The reports make it harder for people to find work and housing," Patricia Warth, lawyer with the CCA, told the news source. "It’s often too burdensome for the person named in the report to get it corrected, the report doesn’t say which court to go to, and it isn’t easy to figure out which police agency is involved." The county police force utilizes software called the Criminal History Arrest Incident Reporting System (CHAIRS), a database that accurately reflects someone's arrest record in the county. It is up to the person who is seeking the report to request that the arresting agency update its records, with an order sealing the arrest from disclosure, notes the news source. According to Your News Now, the CHAIRS system has gone unchanged for three decades, and reports from the system cost just $10 to process.