Kentucky Detention Center Institutes a New Rule Requiring Background Checks for Visitors

By Michael Klazema on 12/3/2013
A jail based in Owensboro, Kentucky will soon require all visitors to undergo an instant background check before being permitted to see or speak with inmates at the facility.

The jail, which is officially called the Daviess County Detention Center, has been working toward the new security policy for over a month now, all in an effort to form a tighter and more secure level of protection against escapes and other prison issues.

According to a brief article in the Messenger Inquirer, a local newspaper based in Owensboro, Major Bill Billings—who serves as a chief deputy for the detention facility—has stated that the move is being made to bring the Daviess County Detention Center closer to other state prisons in terms of background check practices.

Billings told the Messenger Inquirer that most state Department of Corrections prisons already require visitors to go through a background check before seeing inmates. He also said that inmates at the jail had been made aware of the new policy change a month ago, giving them plenty of time to inform potential visitors of the change and to adjust plans accordingly. The visitor background checks will be required beginning on December 1.

The new visitor background check policies being instituted at the Daviess County Detention Center reflect a growing trend in the background check industry of instant background checks and security policies regarding visitors. Visitor checks are not unique to prisons or jails, either. On the contrary, school systems are adding similar background check policies for visitors in school buildings.

In August, an Indiana school district decided to require background checks for all visitors, requiring parents, relatives, and any other visitors to pass an instant background check before allowing them to share close proximity with students. Last month, a Pennsylvania school district followed suit, finishing the installation of a state of the art background check system in all of its elementary, middle, and high school buildings. School districts in Massachusetts and New Hampshire currently maintain similar policies.

Between schools and correctional facilities, the idea of the instantaneous “flash” background screening is gaining serious traction in the background check industry. The flash systems vary in what they check, but most offer searches of county and state criminal records, as well as checks of sex offender registries, terrorist watch lists, and depositories of people guilty of child abuse or neglect. offers its own share of instant screening products, including the US OneSEARCH check, which looks at criminal records and offender registries from all 50 states and from other territories like Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and Guam.


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