National criminal databases, which are also referred to as multi-jurisdictional databases, can be a key part of the background screening process, helping to catch unsuitable applicants by using a wider pool of information than is readily available for standard criminal history searches. However, many people are wary of these databases for various reasons. Some aren’t sure exactly what a national criminal database or for that matter multi-jurisdictional criminal database is. Others aren’t convinced that they need to use one. There may even be a few people out there who want to use one, but can’t quite tell what makes a national criminal database good and what makes it merely passable. All of these concerns are valid, but the fact remains that a credible and well-maintained national criminal database can reveal a much larger picture of an individual’s criminal history than a traditional search alone.
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