DHRM - Department of Human Resource Management


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Policy Guide - Criminal History Records

Based on consultation with the Office of the Attorney General and the Virginia State Police, agencies should destroy criminal history reports obtained for use during the hiring process once they have served that purpose. As indicated in Policy 2,10, Hiring, a brief summary of the impact of the report on the hiring decision may be retained in a confidential section of the recruitment file. The original report should be destroyed by a thorough method such as shredding or pulping.

A number of factors make retention of a criminal history report inadvisable. Criminal history reports are only valid at the time of their issue. Their reliability decreases with the passing of time. Further, confidential methods of record keeping may not be foolproof. The potential liability if such information should become known is greater than the cost of obtaining another report when one may be needed.

Circumstances may vary among agencies according to their status as criminal justice agencies or non-criminal-justice agencies, or for other reasons. Agencies should consult their own contacts in the Attorney General's Office for legal advice on the treatment of criminal history records.