Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn
The Housing Authority of Columbus, Georgia is investigating why the past criminal record of a quadruple homicide suspect accused of stabbing his girlfriend and their three children to death did not appear on a tenant background check conducted on him, according to a report from WTVM-TV News Leader 9 in Columbus.
WTVM-TV reports that Brandon Jackson, 27, underwent a tenant background check before moving to the Elizabeth Canty Apartments in Columbus – where the crime took place – which found no criminal record. However, Jackson did have a criminal record that included a domestic incident with his girlfriend in 2018.
The Columbus Housing Authority is investigating a third-party vendor that conducts tenant background checks on potential residents. “We are following up to see if the company that provides the report can tell us a reason why that did not show up,” Len Williams with the Housing Authority told WTVM-TV.
Williams said tenant background checks are crucial. “We take this seriously. We do criminal background checks and a lot of applicants do not get housed because of that,” said Williams, who added that if Jackson’s real criminal record was known, he probably would have not qualified for public housing.
WTVM-TV reports that Williams said domestic violence is a “red flag” for them when they receive applicants. “We look at every case individually. It might depend on what the crime was, it might be how long ago it was. There are certain things that prohibit us from leasing to someone,” said Williams.
Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – a global background check provider – offers a white paper titled “21 Shortcuts and Traps that Can Lead to Inaccurate Criminal Records” on how background check firms could potentially take shortcuts that may undermine the accuracy of criminal records data.
The shortcuts mentioned in the whitepaper include so-called “national” criminal databases that can be a source of potential mistakes such as “false positives,” when people are found to have a criminal record when they do not have one, and “false negatives,” when people are found to have no criminal record when they do have one.
The complimentary whitepaper – which also includes questions consumers can ask background check providers to avoid receiving incorrect criminal record information – is at www.esrcheck.com/Tools-Resources/Whitepaper-Library/21-Shortcuts-Lead-To-Inaccurate-Criminal-Records/.
ESR is accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) in the areas of Consumer Protection, Legal Compliance, Client Education, Researcher and Data Product Standards, Verification Service Standards, and General Business Practices. To learn more, visit www.esrcheck.com.
NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.
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