State of New Hampshire Holds Criminal Records Hostage

State Courts Charging for Docket Searches highlights the difficulties employers run in to when conducting criminal background checks on applicants who live or have lived in the state of New Hampshire.  These obstacles have been present in NH for sometime now.  Not only are they charging higher access fees than most, records can only be accessed by a court clerk.  These circumstances are exacerbated by the fact that it can take as many as 10 days to get the information once a request is made.  While average turnaround time for on-site criminal research is 1-3 days for most US county courts, NH averages well over 100 hours. 

The state should consider the fact that this policy is creating an adverse affect on employers and employees alike.  As the economy improves and the job pool shrinks, employers are challenged to find the right candidate and hire them before somebody else beat them to it.  If it is company policy to conduct a background check as a condition of employment these delays can cause employers to lose qualified candidates.  This leaves employers with a decision of whether the benefits of a thorough background check outweigh the loss of potential hires.  It also might cause employers outside of the state to shy away from applicants from NH if they feel that they have to make quick decisions, but are unwilling to compromise their policy of conducting a background check.