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Choose Wisely. Enough Said.

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January 2022

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I was asked recently the following: Is there any position in forensics or law enforcement where someone with a criminal record can be hired?

Although the answer to the question could be a big fat HECK NO, I think the answer needs to be explained. Surprising, there are some students who may not know the answer and some school administrators may be unaware of the “becauses”, the “due tos”, and “the reasons why”.

The competition for forensic related positions is FIERCE! Background checks are thorough, meticulous, and can take months to years to complete. Any “spot” of criminal activity would shoot that background check, along with your hopes of obtaining this forensic job (or any forensic job for that matter because your background check follows you), out of the running. With a pool of qualified applicants without a criminal record, why would an agency select an applicant with a record? Bottom line: the opportunity for employment for someone with a criminal record, especially in an age of background checks, could be quite slim.

Another point of view: integrity. Criminal records often are related to integrity issues. These integrity issues make it nearly impossible to hire anyone who might be placed in a testimonial role. Lawyers can have a field day with a witness with these integrity issues. Imagine hearing testimony from an expert witness only to discover this expert had history of assaults and drugs. Bottom line: if your integrity has been compromised (because of your choices), it may be too far gone to be repaired.

But what about….what about the young adults who have a record of local “run ins”, who then turn their lives around and excel in academics, civic functions, and employment history. There are many young applicants currently have a juvenile record but now lead a productive adult life. Depending on the jurisdiction, these individuals may have a chance to apply and be accepted into a forensic position. Some juvenile records are for very minor events that may not be considered a disqualifier. Bottom line: criminal record needs to be defined in order to give clear understanding to those applying for positions who have a criminal record.

In our training program, we stress to students their reputation is EVERYTHING. It’s all about choices: who your friends are, who you hang out with, how you conduct yourself in public, your Facebook page (that is another post), and how you ACT under pressure (peer, work, school). Bottom line: your credibility is one important thing about you that you need to keep it intact; protect it (along with your word).

 

YOUR CHARACTER. IT’S EVERYTHING. ENOUGH SAID. 


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