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Background Checks in Maine Nearly Ground to a Halt

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If you conduct background checks in Maine, by now you've noticed that something is wrong in the state that brings you the beautiful beach towns in places like Kennebunkport and Ogunquit, the best lobstah's and clam chowdah known to man and the Appalachian Mountain range.  

Maine has never been the picture of efficiency for background screening companies with average turnaround times among the longest in the country, but things have gotten far worse as criminal background requests are taking more than two weeks to fulfill.

Why is this happening?

The state of Maine has always required that court research be conducted by the Verifications Bureau (court clerks) which means that all CRAs can do is request a criminal background check and wait for results. 

SJV has learned that this team of seven people has recently lost three employees and has one employee on leave. They are currently ten days behind and are fielding 800-1000 calls per day. 

We'll save the argument as to why this research needs to be conducted by court clerks at a later date and time, but in the meantime, we've challenged ourselves to offer alternate solutions for those requesting background checks in Maine. 

Time for the Maine Statewide Search?

For those that need to expedite criminal background checks, SJV suggests that CRAs consider Maine's statewide search.  The InforME database is maintained by the Maine state police and includes all conviction and adjudication information for adult and juvenile crimes in the state that the Maine Bureau of Identification currently has on record as well as pending cases less than one year old. Results are available the same day as requested unless the inquiry requires a manual intervention which may take up to two weeks. The only catch is that the search is more expensive than conducting a county search. 

This is a difficult situation for all CRAs and employers who rely on background checks in Maine. As always, SJV is here to help. Have questions about the unfolding events or need a partner that offers more transparency? Don't hesitate to reach out.

By the way, another inside tip from SJV: we understand that the state of Maine is looking to move their access online at some point in 2022 (originally scheduled for this year), but they continue to run into delays with funding and COVID. Until then, we'll all hold our collective breath.

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