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The Value of Incarceration Data in Continuous Monitoring Solutions

Brian Kelly | Appriss Insights


Numerous background screeners are now providing continuous monitoring solutions and benefit from timely, detailed incarceration data. They have found that timely arrest alerts, drawn from incarceration facilities with insight into a large percentage of the U.S. population, enrich their criminal monitoring solutions.

SJV Data Solutions leverages their proprietary platform alongside Appriss Insights’ incarceration data to provide CRAs a streamlined platform for monitoring their clients’ employees for new incarcerations. SJV’s solution, called Continuous Criminal Monitoring, provides continuous, real-time insights into workforce risk based on trustworthy, direct-sourced data and insight into more than 85% of U.S. incarceration facilities.

Topics We’ll Be Covering

Continuous Monitoring and Employee Assistance

As employers seek to ensure the safety and integrity of their workplaces, customers, and communities, the background screening industry has explored more efficient ways to monitor workforces and mitigate person-based risk. In recent years, background screening companies have begun utilizing true continuous monitoring solutions that provide alerts immediately following an incarceration, court appearance, or conviction. Continuous monitoring is the process by which employers can proactively identify and manage potential problems within their organization – a solution that strengthens company brands, protects employees and customers, and encourages consistent, positive communication between employers and their employees.


Beyond a pre-hire background screen or a post-hire periodic rescreen, continuous monitoring allows employers to be informed at the earliest point of possible intervention about an employee arrest.

Rather than re-search an employee’s name against a national criminal file (“nat-crim”), entire employee lists can be uploaded into systems that produce an alert when a new entry in the nat-crim dataset matched employee information in the uploaded list.

Timely incarceration alerts, or the initial report of potential criminal activity collected from correctional agencies, give employers the opportunity to identify “yellow light” events and provide counseling, training, and other forms of assistance to their employees.



A Holistic Approach to Employee Monitoring

What can an employer do after getting an incarceration alert? Moving beyond adverse action

When an employer receives an initial incarceration alert, the employer must first ensure legal compliance requirements are fulfilled. It is important for employers to have established practices that will help them remain compliant with industry regulation and guidance, such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and applicable state laws. This may include providing a “clear and conspicuous” disclosure in writing to the employee before requesting a consumer report, as well as obtaining the employee’s written authorization for ongoing screenings.

Incarceration alerts can sometimes be an indication of a legitimate problem with an employee, such as inexcusable behavior directly related to the employee’s role, incarceration, criminal charges, or eventually a criminal conviction. In these cases, many employers take meaningful action to protect stake- holders and avoid “negligent retention” employment claims – a legal claim that an employer failed to terminate or discharge an employee who the employer knew or should have known has a propensity to injure members of the workforce or the public, such as a propensity toward violence, harassment, or dishonesty. However, not every incarceration leads to a conviction, and some employers will not take adverse action based on an incarceration alert alone. It is important for employers to consult with their legal counsel to determine if federal or state laws may alter their preferred course of action. In the majority of cases, the initial incarceration alert is simply an early indicator that an employer should begin talking with an employee to address potential problems – not the basis for adverse action against the employee.

 An incarceration alert is triggered by a match of the first name, last name, date of birth, and Social Security number provided by an employer to a comprehensive incarceration data network with a broad reach in coverage and strong data sources. This incarceration alert is not triggered based solely on a match of publicly available arrest booking information – which often has gaps in geographic coverage and is sometimes not continuously updated with new data – but is drawn directly from incarceration facilities and is available well before a case is adjudicated in court.


Monitoring for the Earliest Indicator of Risk: Incarceration Alerts



The earlier an employer finds out about an employee’s arrest, the more effective an intervention can be. An earlier incarceration alert can initiate earlier employee assistance – before an arrest even goes to court.

Informing an employer at the earliest point of intervention encourages the organization to move from a punitive mindset to a holistic mindset. The event of an arrest does not prove that criminal conduct has occurred.1

In many cases, an employee’s arrest is not related to their area of work and is not considered relevant by the employer. Although an arrest can be an indicator of employee conduct that needs to be addressed, in the current political environment, many arrests are not indicators of poor employee conduct. If an employee is arrested at a peaceful demonstration, for example, the alert can initiate an approach of employee assistance, not adverse action – further strengthening an employer’s role as a force for meaningful social good.2


Many organizations may prefer to be alerted only if an incarceration leads to an active court case and/or a conviction.

An early incarceration alert can also be the impetus for more accurate and efficient court research of the available data. If the case is not yet available because there is a latency period between the arrest and court proceedings, the employer can receive a “heads up” a case may be coming.


Termination: A Last Resort

Termination costs both the employer and the employee and should be a last resort. The total cost of losing an employee is significant. Global HR industry analyst Josh Bersin estimates that turnover costs employers3 between tens of thousands of dollars to 1.5-2 times the employee’s annual salary. Even the lowest estimates indicate significant losses: According to the Work Institute’s 2017 Retention Report, replacing an employee costs a company at least 33% of a worker’s salary, or $15,000 when applied to the median employee annual compensation.4 Even replacing an hourly employee costs an average of $1,500, according to SHRM.5

There are soft costs as well. Not only do organizations lose money recruiting, onboarding, and training a replacement, they also lose the employee’s knowledge and expertise, are often forced to overwork the remaining team members, and see their company culture suffer.

Advantages of Continuous Criminal Monitoring from SJV Data Solutions

True continuous monitoring. Thanks to our close partnership with Appriss Insights, we offer the only solution in the marketplace that allows real-time monitoring of employees and contractors after they’ve been hired and throughout the tenure of their employment.

The only dataset of its kind in existence. The proprietary Appriss Insights data feed is received in near real-time from direct interfaces with nearly 3,000 individual incarceration agencies. Data collected includes multiple identifiers such as name, DOB, SSN, and DLN.

Convenience and ease-of-use with SJV’s Employee Population Management Platform, SJV Connect. SJV Connect is a cloud-based, people-data platform, built on top of our best-in-class database. With SJV Connect, you can make and track all your orders in one location, follow critical reporting metrics, and set custom workflows for notifications.


What you should do next

If you’re ready to hear more about the SJV Population Management Platform, Continuous Criminal Monitoring, or both, click here to connect with one of our experts or give us a call at 800-203-0582.

For an informative deep dive into Continuous Criminal Monitoring, experience our free webinar, “Continuous Monitoring: Post Hire Innovations that Drive Revenue Growth.” This webinar features expert panelists from SJV and Appriss, as well as an independent viewpoint from background screening industry veteran Nick Fishman.



1. rest-and-conviction-records-employment-decisions

2. pages/what-to-do-if-an-employee-is-arrested-during-a-protest.aspx

3. Employee Retention Now a Big Issue: Why the Tide has Turned, https://www.linkedin. com/pulse/20130816200159-131079-employee-retention-now-a-big-issue-why-the- tide-has-turned/

4. Workforce Institute 2017 Retention Report report2017

5. To Have and To Hold, to-have-and-to-hold.aspx

6. Josh Berson, “Employee Retention Now a Big Issue: Why the Tide Has Turned,” Work- force Institute 2017 Retention Report, “To Have and To Hold” (SHRM)

7. HireRight Product Launch webinar: “Rescreening or Monitoring?” https://www.hire-

8. “Criminal Records Watch: Ongoing Post-Hire Monitoring Solution.” solutions/criminal-records-monitoring/