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  #1  
Old 01-20-2018, 03:15 PM
MissStar MissStar is offline
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Default Did you do a background check on your inmate?

Another post(Er) I saw today got me thinking (I will NOT mention names), but I think they said they always do background checks on anyone they date. This got me wondering... is this something that you do or have done? Regardless if itís MWI or your inmate you knew prior or even someone who has never been to prison? Iíd love to hear thoughts and experiences!
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Old 01-20-2018, 03:23 PM
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No, I never have (inmate or non-incarcerated) but I can understand why a person might.

My husband (MWI) was so young when he went in, there wasn't time for him to rack up a long history. He is still serving for his first and only felony. If he had a history of going in and out of prison, then I probably would. I think there are some people who intentionally mislead you about their past, I think there are some who might, as a coping mechanism, downplay their past. However, if you've spent any time around the justice system, you know that the charges and the crime are NOT always congruent. So pulling someone's record is one piece of the puzzle and I would hope that anyone pulling a record would be open enough with their loved one to have a mature discussion about the findings.
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Old 01-20-2018, 04:11 PM
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I didnít really have to pull up my MWI his record and what he told me matched up,but also a lot of what was in his case file was what he was accused of as well so 🤨 idk I guess it is good to do research on that kind of thing.
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Old 01-20-2018, 04:16 PM
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I know your speaking of me and yes I check everyone out!!!! I have my reasons and I'm glad I do what I do. I'm 55yrs old and I'll be damned if I get caught up in anyones bullshit. JMHO I've been around the block way to many times to get caught up in someone else's bullshit.
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Old 01-20-2018, 04:45 PM
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I know your speaking of me and yes I check everyone out!!!! I have my reasons and I'm glad I do what I do. I'm 55yrs old and I'll be damned if I get caught up in anyones bullshit. JMHO I've been around the block way to many times to get caught up in someone else's bullshit.


Iím not against what you do, itís just something I never really thought about, honestly! Itís always refreshing hearing other peopleís take on things!
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Old 01-20-2018, 06:09 PM
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Iím not against what you do, itís just something I never really thought about, honestly! Itís always refreshing hearing other peopleís take on things!
20 years ago I was very naive', not anymore. I , I am very cautious about stuff I don't want something to come back and bite me in the ass associating with certain people could screw my life up and I can do that all on my own. Besides I don't believe most of the bullshit people say.
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Old 01-20-2018, 08:37 PM
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Unfortumately, not everyone who is going to hurt you has a record and those that have one may have changed. No, never checked anyones record.
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Old 01-20-2018, 11:38 PM
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I did a people search for mine, which included a background check. He had been my best friend when we were in our teens. I WAS shocked at what I found out and almost didn't write him. Glad I did. The day my first letter reached him he was about to hang himself in his cell. He had completely given up on ever having family or friends or anyone who cared about him ever again.
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Old 01-21-2018, 06:48 AM
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Once we started talking about a relationship after being friends for about nine months...I did check his past arrest records and court cases online. We'd been talking about some of it, and I knew what his life had been like...so it wasn't a surprise but I guess at that point I wanted to see it with my own eyes. I had to ask myself a few serious questions - starting an MWI relationship was not going to be a piece of cake anyway and I needed to figure out whether I was up for this, knowing all the struggles it might involve. So yes, I did check and after considering my options I decided I would have what it takes to get into this.

Would I do a background check on someone I'd start dating in the free world? Not sure....never did before
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Old 01-21-2018, 08:05 AM
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I did after his arrest to see of there was anything else I did know. There wasn't. It did give me piece of mind.
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Old 01-21-2018, 09:46 AM
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Aye, I stalk my pen-pals thoroughly, especially those I intend to spend time with in person.
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Old 01-21-2018, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by istrueblue View Post
Unfortumately, not everyone who is going to hurt you has a record and those that have one may have changed. No, never checked anyones record.
I totally understand that but when dealing with a criminal it's the smart thing to do. I do it on anyone I allow into my life. I have known some very bad people and don't want what they have done or might do to affect my life. I have other people in my life who also could be adversely affected by my associating with certain people.
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Old 01-21-2018, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xolady View Post
I totally understand that but when dealing with a criminal it's the smart thing to do. I do it on anyone I allow into my life. I have known some very bad people and don't want what they have done or might do to affect my life. I have other people in my life who also could be adversely affected by my associating with certain people.
I answered the question for me, we all have ways we go about things. What works for me may not work for others, and I am entirely okay with that!
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Old 01-21-2018, 11:03 AM
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I did on my (initial) pen-pal now boyfriend. I was just curious but there was nothing on there except his crime. His Mom has been very open with me every time I have a question so I'm good.
I don't do this on anyone else, never ever.
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Old 01-21-2018, 11:44 AM
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I did after his arrest to see of there was anything else I did know. There wasn't. It did give me piece of mind.
Peace. Ugh. Can't even change it
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Old 01-21-2018, 11:50 AM
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I answered the question for me, we all have ways we go about things. What works for me may not work for others, and I am entirely okay with that!
Blind faith is all well and good until you get dragged into someones stuff just because you know them.
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Old 01-21-2018, 12:01 PM
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Oh yes I did. I knew his family 9 years before they introduced us while he was in prison and I still checked up on him. At 48 years old with three children and a grand child I'm not going to risk it. I was specifically looking for a history of domestic violence or addiction. I have done too much work on myself to bring another addict or an abuser into my life. I told him I checked him out and he said "I'm glad your smart and look after yourself".
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Old 01-21-2018, 01:24 PM
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Keep in mind that most of the cheap third-party 'background check' sites are far from thorough. They are a starting point, but far from being a be-all, end-all.

Even with my clients, I do not rely solely upon TxDPS and PublicData when building a file. They are starting points. The advent of public records being imaged helps tremendously, but there is a LOT that I get from sources other than online pages that would NEVER have been known in a lot of instances.

I have also seen the third-party aggregators get things horribly wrong because of how they try to shoehorn arrest data into their page formatting...
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Old 01-21-2018, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xolady View Post
I know your speaking of me and yes I check everyone out!!!! I have my reasons and I'm glad I do what I do. I'm 55yrs old and I'll be damned if I get caught up in anyones bullshit. JMHO I've been around the block way to many times to get caught up in someone else's bullshit.
What do you use to check their background? What program?
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Old 01-21-2018, 06:45 PM
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I don’t tyoically hang out with criminals so I’ve never done background checks on anyone. On my MWI I didn’t really need to do one. I have his complete trial transcript and know what’s on pacer. I did do a google search though. Nowadays if I were to date again I might do a background check, not really sure. I find it odd to do a background check on everyone you meet though
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Old 01-23-2018, 12:44 PM
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I background check EVERYONE I let regularly into my life, and always will.

I background check:
- friends I let visit my house/come over for dinner regularly - long-term friends
- employees I hire
- contractors I hire personally and let inside my house (obviously can't background check the cable guy... but I don't have cable anyway)
- people I date (before the first date)
- people I let be my roommate (they get rental/etc. checks too)
- people I pen pal with

If it's a long-term relationship of any sort (friend, pen pal, someone I date, etc.), I pull EVERYTHING I can. I use public records to find a list of previous cities, and look up court records for them in each city as well as PACER. I google their names and social media. Sure, not everything shows up, but it's a good hint at who they are and what they do. You'd be surprised at the sorts of records that people have. I new friend who was an almost elderly gentleman had a charge related to children.

If I chose to pen pal with an inmate, of course I'd background check as much as I could. They could do the same and check me. If their charges were violent or related to children especially, I would likely use a nickname of my first name, not mention my spouse/kids names (or career type, company name, kid's schools or college names) and use only nicknames, not mention specific schedules (kids and I go to baseball every Friday night), and use a po box one city away from where my actual house is. Much of that I would do in general. We're complete strangers who don't know each other at all, have never met, and it's good to be careful. Oh, and they're a long-time inmate... so that's a good reason for a little caution in general. I'm very careful about what people I let in my life, as people can easily ruin a person's reputation, if not life. I still would be friends or pen pals with someone with a record, of course, depending on the level of violence of their charges, and judge each potential relationship carefully. I'm cautious, and always will be.
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Old 01-23-2018, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xolady View Post
I totally understand that but when dealing with a criminal it's the smart thing to do. I do it on anyone I allow into my life. I have known some very bad people and don't want what they have done or might do to affect my life. I have other people in my life who also could be adversely affected by my associating with certain people.
Me too. People I choose to allow into my life get a basic background check to the best of my ability. Depending on their past, and if it's violent, or if they're still doing illegal drugs at all, I might not continue a friendship with them at all. I don't want to get dragged down the wrong path, or worse... and it's good to know what habits or crimes people have experience with. I'm not going to let a white collar criminal be my accounting employee, for example. A friend who had a DUI a decade ago I'll stay friends with, so long as they're not still getting DUIs and make reasonable choices. Same with all relationships- I only allow people into my life who generally make reasonable and responsible choices, and don't drag me into their drama or use me.

I search court records for new friends, sometimes next-door neighbors, babysitters, roommates, employees, contractors I personally hire, etc. Always have for years, always will.
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Old 01-23-2018, 12:56 PM
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I background check EVERYONE I let regularly into my life, and always will.
It makes my heart sad that this is the type of fear people live in. And how lucky are we all that background checks only show what we've been convicted of. It would be a terrible and lonely world if it showed the whole picture.
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Old 01-23-2018, 12:58 PM
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I absolutely look up anyone who I allow in the inner circle of my life. If I would sit you down to dinner at my family table with my children, you can bet that I looked you up previously. Now, that being said, all of my closest friends are felons. So it's not a "are you a convict" kind of thing. It's that I want to know what and when. For instance, if someone has an active warrant, I sure as hell don't want them at my house. If they are on parole and not suppose to be around alcohol, I want to know that so I don't have it at the house, or so I can provide a substitute for our religious ceremonies.

*Edit after reading the above post* I do background check employees but it doesn't determine eligibility. It's part of my job just like making sure they are legal to work in America is. I don't background check the guy that cleans my yard or anything like that. I don't background check all the people I send cards to. I don't background check anyone outside my personal close circle. My boyfriend indicated he'd been in prison when we met so yes, I looked him up. Not out of fear at all, just out of wanting to know and be careful with who I bring to my house around my children.
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Old 01-23-2018, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
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I absolutely look up anyone who I allow in the inner circle of my life. If I would sit you down to dinner at my family table with my children, you can bet that I looked you up previously. Now, that being said, all of my closest friends are felons. So it's not a "are you a convict" kind of thing. It's that I want to know what and when.
Me too. I want to know what and when, and protect myself. That's only natural, and is wise. I can still be friends with felons and know the 'what.'

If I have a friend of a friend over for dinner one time only at a small party, and the kids aren't home, I'm not background checking that friend of a friend necessarily. I background check those people regularly involved in my life, or those working for me where liability & safety is a concern.

I don't care that my yard guy had a DUI 20 years ago, but, if he had a breaking and entering charge last year or a sex offense last year involving minors, I would want to know that. Same with employees- I'm not giving an employee who has white collar crimes access to all the company bank accounts unsupervised.

I want/need to know if my potential roommate is a drug dealer, has warrants, has rental evictions, has no job, etc. I want/need to know if my contractor has 20 years worth of drug use convictions and might do the job high, risking injury. I want/need to know if my employee I'm hiring as an HR director has a history of identity theft convictions. I want/need to know if my kid's babysitter is a sex offender, an illegal drug user, or a violent offender.

I've known plenty of felons over the years, along with my own jaded past, and as I mentioned, have a new friend who had a 15+ year old charge that involved children. He's never going to be alone with my kids or be around them regularly, but we can happily get a beer and go to the game as adults. If someone was a sex offender to a minor, they're not going to be around my kids- ever- period. I can choose to be friends with them, but not let my kids be around them too. I can be friends with a former white collar crime person also, easily, but I'm not going to hire them as my accountant either. I can be friends with someone who got a few DUIs some years ago, but I'm not going to ride as a passenger with them after a night at the bar or have them pickup my kids from school events at night or if they're drinking again. I can easily be friends with someone who has a history of drug dealing or drug use for decades, but I'm not going to be their roommate. My #1 duty is to protect myself and my kids. Friendships come after that.

A person's criminal history doesn't necessarily exclude them from being my friend, date, relationship, employee, etc. It depends on the nature of the relationship and the nature of the crime, when it was, if it was repeated, etc. I want to know the 'what' and 'when' to protect myself and my kids.
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