A state-based criminal search pulls criminal records from a database or repository in a given state. Counties and jurisdictions throughout the state typically report into these central repositories, making state checks beneficial for widening the scope of a pre-employment background screening. This Mississippi background check searches the statewide criminal history database maintained by the Criminal Information Center within the Mississippi Department of Public Safety.
The check will yield criminal record information from any counties that report to the Department of Health repository—a list which may include Hinds County, Harrison County, and DeSoto County. At backgroundchecks.com, we can currently process state criminal checks in 45 states, including Mississippi.
Mississippi has several laws and ordinances that restrict or regulate how criminal background checks can be conducted or used when they pertain to hiring. Employers should be aware of these restrictions before ordering a Mississippi background check through backgroundchecks.com. We have summarized the most pertinent regulations below to help you educate yourself before conducting a state criminal background check.
Accessing Conviction Records
There is no law against employers accessing a job candidate’s criminal conviction records if those records have not been legally expunged. However, there are a few steps employers must take before conducting a Mississippi state background check. First, a signed consent form or court order is necessary to access Department of Public Safety criminal records. Second, all state criminal screenings are fingerprint-based checks to ensure the highest level of accuracy and reliability. Employers should be ready to comply with these requirements before ordering a Mississippi background check.
Employers in Mississippi are not barred from inquiring about or using arrest records in hiring decisions. However, state databases make it impossible to access arrest records for any arrests that did not result in a conviction. The exception is if the arrest record led to a prosecution which is ongoing. Equal employment and human rights advocates are strongly critical of using arrest records for hiring purposes since they do not prove guilt. Because using arrest records to make employment decisions can lead to discrimination claims and other costly legal issues, backgroundchecks.com excludes arrest information from all background searches, this Mississippi state background check included.
Ban the Box
Mississippi has no laws or ordinances—on the state, county, or city level—that prohibit employers from asking questions about criminal history on job applications or in interviews. Mississippi has an “anti-ban-the-box” law which prohibits any law, ordinance, or rule that might limit an employer’s ability to learn about a candidate’s background. Unless this law is repealed or overturned, employers in Mississippi will not be subject to any ban the box practices.