Included in this Screening News Update:
• Live Scan Plus in Pennsylvania
• Required Background Checks for Nursing Home and Long-Term Care Workers
• Roadside Drug Testing in England and Wales
Live Scan Plus in Pennsylvania
In the first quarter of 2015, more than 1,500 people convicted of felonies in the state of Pennsylvania did not have their records entered into criminal history databases. That means if an employer or a gun store did a background check, these 1,500 people could come back with a “clean” record.
The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency received $814,000 in grant money from the U.S. Department of Justice to improve record-taking technology in police stations across the state. The money will be used to buy devices called Live Scan Plus for six counties and 10 State Police substations. The device captures biometrics from a subject’s fingerprint and palm. It also takes a photograph and immediately uploads everything in both state and federal databases.
Required Background Checks for Nursing Home and Long-Term Care Workers
The Connecticut Department of Public Health has launched a new system to help make sure those working in nursing homes or long-term care facilities pose no risk to the residents.
Up until now, each facility decided on its own whether to do background checks on their employees. Under the new program, anyone hired to work or volunteer in facilities that care for the elderly and disabled will have to be entered into the Applicant Background Check Management System web portal. The system will check for any disqualifying criminal convictions as well as reports of patient abuse or neglect.
Roadside Drug Testing in England and Wales
Police in much of England and Wales are now using “drugalyzer” oral swabs in addition to the traditional blood alcohol tests to get drivers who are impaired by drugs off the road. In 2014 the UK instituted zero tolerance for eight illicit drugs.
Since rolling out the new roadside tests six months ago 1,070 drivers have failed. That’s more than 50 percent of those tested. Cannabis was the most common drug, but the swabs also detected cocaine, heroin, LSD and ecstasy.
With the zero tolerance policy, anyone testing positive will lose their license for at least a year and pay a hefty fine that translates to nearly $8,000.